Cybercrime is typically global in nature, with malicious cyber actors operating all over the world and transcending geographical boundaries. Of the numerous challenges for global law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting international cybercrime, a critical element is the ability to access electronic evidence across borders. In order to effectively combat this threat, there is a need for increased international law enforcement cooperation.
Which are the key European agencies involved in the fight against cybercrime?
Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency, assisting Member States in their fight against terrorism, cybercrime and other serious and organised forms of crime.
Eurojust is the European Union’s Judicial Cooperation Unit, assisting in the fight against transnational crime by consolidating cooperation amongst authorities. It is composed of national prosecutors, magistrates and senior police officers.
Europol and Eurojust work together to improve access to cross-border electronic evidence, and recently held the SIRIUS conference 2018 on 6 and 7 November at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.
This conference gathered over 200 judicial and law enforcement authorities from 40 countries, as well as representatives from Airbnb, Apple, Facebook, Google and PayPal, to address issues and challenges encountered when conducting Internet-based investigations.
What is SIRIUS?
SIRIUS is an innovative project which includes an interactive knowledge-sharing platform accessible to judicial and law enforcement authorities, with an aim to improve EU-US cooperation in cross-border access to electronic evidence. This greatly aids in the internet-based investigation and prosecution of crime.
What was the focus of the conference?
The SIRIUS conference 2018 focused on assessing the effectiveness of the SIRIUS project in achieving its aims, as well as devising innovative solutions to emerging and future challenges in the field.
The conference included training sessions by the US Department of Justice, the FBI and Eurojust regarding mutual legal assistance (MLA) procedures, working towards improving the efficiency of MLA requests.
More practice-based activities took place, including a Codefest, which gave participants an opportunity to learn how to use the tools available on the SIRIUS platform and to test the information shared during the two-day event.
A session was also devoted to allowing participants to contribute to the future of SIRIUS, which seeks to remain a reference point for developing knowledge in the area of cross-border access to e-evidence for practitioners.
The ongoing work of the SIRIUS project is likely to make it increasingly difficult for international cybercriminals to evade justice and conceal incriminating evidence, specifically in cases which involve the EU and US.