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SEP 23, 2019 | GLOBAL

BSA Releases Global Best Practices for Law Enforcement Access to Digital Evidence

BRUSSELS – September 23, 2019 – The European Commission now estimates that electronic evidence is needed in roughly 85 percent of criminal investigations, and in more than half of all criminal investigations, law enforcement agencies require electronic evidence stored outside their country’s borders. In the US, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has found that the average digital forensic examination can yield nearly a terabyte of data—equivalent to 250,000 pages of typewritten documents.

Accessing that data can present tremendous challenges to the privacy and security of technology users. Incomplete legal structures, insufficient law enforcement capacity, and underdeveloped investigatory processes often hamstring investigations and create unnecessary tensions between law enforcement agencies and technology providers.

To address these challenges, BSA | The Software Alliance today announces the release of the BSA Global Best Practices for Law Enforcement Access to Digital Evidence. These global best practices are designed to promote strong, international commitments to privacy, security, transparency, and the rule of law, while fostering constructive collaboration between policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and technology providers in activities aimed at fighting crime and making communities safer at home and abroad.

“It is imperative that law enforcement agencies around the world are able to investigate serious crimes and keep the public safe, while also protecting individual privacy rights,” said Thomas Boué, BSA Director General, Policy – EMEA. “As the types and volume of data proliferate globally, the rules on access to digital evidence need to be clear and consistent so that companies are not caught in conflicts of law.”

The BSA Global Best Practices for Law Enforcement Access to Digital Evidence. are designed around five guiding principles intended to help governments and law enforcement agencies around the world:

  1. Safeguard fundamental rights;
  2. Narrowly target requests;
  3. Cooperate across borders;
  4. Ensure transparency; and
  5. Maintain collaborative relations with technology providers.

BSA’s best practices also include recommendations designed specifically for technology providers on how to improve responsiveness to legitimate law enforcement requests while sustaining commitments to customers around privacy and security.

Explore the BSA Global Best Practices for Law Enforcement Access to Digital Evidence here.

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BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that help businesses of all sizes in every part of the economy to modernize and grow.

With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 30 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.


Michael O’Brien

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