International Law Enforcement Access to User Data: A Survival Guide and Call for Action
27 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2015 Last revised: 17 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 8, 2015
Effectively accessing and using online evidence is a critical part of modern investigations and prosecutions, but also has significant implications for users’ privacy. The current system of international sharing of online data in criminal matters is a patchwork of domestic and international law that is slow, uncertain, and not well understood.
This paper provides an overview of the current system for foreign governments seeking user data from U.S.-based internet companies. After describing the way in which the system currently operates, it identifies problems with the system, and outlines the reform efforts that are beginning to emerge.
Keywords: mutual legal assistance treaties, privacy, law enforcement cooperation, communications data
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By Gail Kent