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EUnited Against Crime: Improving Criminal Justice in European Union Cyberspace


In today’s ultra-connected world, much of our life occurs online. From watching TV series on Netflix, buying discounted airplane tickets on Kayak, to chatting with an old friend living in another continent on Facebook, it is hard to imagine a “disconnected” life. Despite the benefits generated by increased connectivity and more powerful processing tools, ICT systems have not only been employed to foster social and economic development. Terrorists and cybercriminals are increasingly using cyberspace to conduct their malfeasances. In June 2016, the Council of the European Union underlined the importance of improving the effectiveness of criminal justice in cyberspace. Using the Council conclusions as a starting point, the paper provides some “policy suggestions” for the ongoing debate taking place within EU institutions. In order to do so, the paper seeks to answer three main questions: What are the main challenges that EU member states face today when they collect e-evidence? How are they tackling these issues? Can an EU common framework provide solutions to solve these problems?

Paper prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), November 2016. Presented at the seminar “EUNITED against Crime: Digital Evidence, Privacy and Security in the European Union” held in Brussels on 23 November 2016, organized by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and IAI.

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