US: Encryption Backgrounder: More Data Is Available to Law Enforcement Than Ever Before
JUN 01, 2018 | GLOBAL
As software grows increasingly central to our daily lives, emails, text messages, phone calls, instant messages, social media posts, and other communications -- transmitted and stored electronically -- have proliferated. For law enforcement organizations pursuing criminal investigations, this data can provide valuable leads. Yet, around the world, the laws and processes governing law enforcement’s access to digital evidence are often outdated or in conflict. Laws relating to cross-border access to digital evidence, access to encrypted data, the applicability of privacy and civil liberties in the digital arena, and other areas, must be updated to reflect the nature of the modern digital ecosystem.
BSA supports updating such laws to provide clarity about the circumstances in which law enforcement can lawfully access digital evidence, as well as the applicability of safeguards protecting consumer privacy, security, and civil liberties. Furthermore, as the amount and types of data available to law enforcement explodes, BSA recognizes that law enforcement’s technical capacity to understand and access such data will be tested. We support efforts to improve law enforcement capacity for accessing digital evidence in alignment with appropriate laws and safeguards. Working in collaboration, the technology industry and law enforcement community can help keep communities safe and secure.
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