IGF 2018 WS #441
Cross-border criminal investigations in the digital era


Organizer 1: Fernández Maryant, European Digital Rights (EDRi)
Organizer 2: Katitza Rodriguez, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Speaker 1: Katitza Rodriguez, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Fernández Maryant, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Jamila Venturini, Technical Community, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Owen Bennett, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Katitza Rodriguez, EFF

Online Moderator

Katitza Rodriguez, EFF


Maryant Fernandez Pérez, EDRi


Round Table - 60 Min


In terms of process, we want to have a roundtable discussion because it'll allow for better multistakeholder participation. We do not want that speakers monopolise the session.
In terms of substance, we will discuss the different proposals that exist in different jurisdictions and try to identify common policy and legal challenges, divergences and potential for cooperating in a joint future strategy. The fundamental point of the session is to find common, multistakeholder answers to the following question and see: how can we ensure that cross-border access to data proposals avoid a race to the bottom in the protection and defense of our rights and freedoms?


The proposal has been designed to ensure and foster diversity from different perspectives, such as viewpoints, background, regions and gender. The session aims at having representation from multiple regions and stakeholder groups. The debate counts aims at having representatives from academia, the private sector, the public sector and civil society from different regions of the world.

Law enforcement authorities across the world are continuously seeking to gain access to data in different jurisdictions, wherever the data is held. Currently, the primary international mechanism for facilitating governmental cross border data access is the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process, a series of treaties between two or more States that create a formal basis for cooperation between designated authorities of the signatories. However, MLATs have been criticised for being slow and inefficient in a digital era. To fix the problems with MLATs, several government and regional proposals have emerged. This session will explore how MLAT reform can address many current problems, as well as map different approaches to criminal investigations in the digital era in different jurisdictions to try to bring human rights to cross-border data demands, in line with human rights requirements.

Speakers will talk for 3-4 min each at the beginning to kick off the discussions. However, if anyone in the room or online would like to make a comment or intervene, this is possible. All onsite and online participants will have the opportunity to participate in the discussions equally. The moderation will make sure this happens.

This workshop builds upon conversations and private meetings with stakeholders from Latin America, Canada, the United States and Europe in previous international and regional events, such as RightsCon.

From the proposed US CLOUD act that empowers the US executive branch to enter into bilateral surveillance agreements with foreign nations, to the negotiations of a similar agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom; to proposals in the European Union and the Council of Europe that may facilitate direct cooperation between law enforcement authorities and companies to users' data.

Online Participation

We plan to engage with remote attendees using a combination of social media and e-mails. We will use the official IGF hashtag to communicate about this session and invite people to send us preliminary questions or comments from remote participants at the start of the session at any moment of the session, not just at the end.