Law enforcement authorities across the world are continuously seeking to gain access to data in different jurisdictions, wherever the data is held. Currently, the primary international mechanism for facilitating governmental cross border data access is the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process, a series of treaties between two or more States that create a formal basis for cooperation between designated authorities of the signatories. However, MLATs have been criticised for being slow and inefficient in a digital era. To fix the problems with MLATs, several government and regional proposals have emerged. This panel will explore how MLAT reform can address many current problems, as well as map different approaches to criminal investigations in the digital era in different jurisdictions to try to bring human rights to cross-border data demands, in line with human rights requirements.
• What are the proposals of the European Union on cross-border access to “e-evidence” about? What are their potential benefits and challenges?
• What is the impact of the Council of Europe negotiations on an additional Protocol to the Cybercrime Convention on national and regional initiatives?
• How is the US CLOUD Act being implemented? are there any bilateral agreements with foreign nations in the pipeline?
• Will the forthcoming UK-US surveillance agreement serve as a blueprint for other similar agreements?