European Commission facilitates access to electronic evidence

The European Commission is proposing new rules to make it easier and faster for police and judicial authorities to obtain the electronic evidence needed for investigation, prosecution and conviction of criminals and terrorists. The proposals will create a European Production Order, which will allow a judicial authority in one Member State to request electronic evidence, regardless of the location of data, directly from a service provider offering services in the Union and established or represented in another Member State. Moreover, a European Preservation Order will prevent deletion of specific data by service providers, in order to enable judicial authorities to request this data later via mutual legal assistance. Under new rules, service providers will be obliged to designate a legal representative in the EU, to ensure that all service providers are subject to the same obligations. The rules also aim to provide legal certainty for businesses and service providers.