Fight against criminal activities in cyberspace : Council agrees on practical measures and next steps
Press officer (Justice; Corporate communications)
On 9 June, EU Justice ministers discussed further improvements to criminal justice in cyberspace. They adopted two sets of conclusions which set out practical measures to improve cooperation, as well as a timeline for further action.
Minister van der Steur, from the Netherlands presidency, said : "Making progress in these areas will contribute to securing and obtaining e-evidence more effectively, which is of utmost importance to step up the fight against terrorism and other criminal activities in or through the use of cyberspace."
Council conclusions on improving criminal justice in cyberspace
The conclusions on improving criminal justice in cyberspace set out concrete measures for future follow-up and action in three main areas of work:
streamlining mutual legal assistance (MLA) proceedings and, where applicable, mutual recognition related to cyberspace, through the use of standardised electronic forms and tools.
improving cooperation with service providers, through the development of a common framework (e.g. use of aligned forms and tools) with them to request specific categories of data; and
launching a reflection process on possible connecting factors for enforcement jurisdiction in cyberspace.
While some of the measures identified in the conclusions could be implemented right away, others need further reflection and political guidance. For this reason, Ministers held a policy debate on two specific issues, namely:
the possible grounds for enforcement jurisdiction that could be applied in cyberspace, e.g. grounds on which the relevant authorities can undertake an investigative measure in cyberspace, when existing frameworks are not enough, such as cases where relevant e-evidence is hidden or moves quickly between jurisdictions; and
a differentiated treatment of specific categories of data in criminal proceedings - i.e. how a differentiated approach - between non-content (subscriber or traffic) and content data or between real time and stored data - would affect their national legal framework, what elements would be relevant for a common EU approach and what measures could be considered in this respect.
The Council requested the Commission to present deliverables on the three work streams by June 2017.
Council conclusions on the European Judicial Cybercrime Network
The conclusions formalise and enhance the network of judicial authorities and experts in the field of cybercrime, supported by Eurojust.
The objective of the network is to facilitate the exchange of expertise, best practices and other relevant knowledge and experience on the investigation and prosecution of cybercrime.
Ministers expressed political support in December 2015, and at the informal meeting of the Ministers of 26 January 2016 in Amsterdam, to develop solutions enabling effective investigations in cyberspace. Following the terrorist attacks in Brussels on 22 March 2016, the Ministers of Justice and Home affairs jointly emphasised the need to address these issues as a matter of priority.