25 Organisations Demand Fundamental Rights-Based Approach to E-Evidence Legislation
In a joint letter of 14 September 2020, a coalition of 25 organisations calls on the members of the EP’s LIBE Committee to ensure that forthcoming legislation on e-evidence contains procedural safeguards for journalists, doctors, lawyers, social workers, etc. The signatories, which include professional associations, media organisations, civil society groups, social services organisations and technology companies, demand that e-evidence legislation must contain explicit legal safeguards against law enforcement abuses and political prosecution. These should include:
- Active involvement of judicial authorities from the executing State and, where applicable, the affected State;
- Powers of these judicial authorities to review a production or preservation order based on their own national legal framework, and subsequently to validate or reject the order before an online service provider can execute it;
- No “auto-execution” after a certain period of time had lapsed.
The letter also points out that respect for basic human rights is even more important at a time when some Member States are suffering a serious degradation of the rule of law and democratic principles, thus compromising European values.