Two technological trends are rendering the traditional MLA system obsolete: (1) the globalization of criminal evidence, as webmail, social networks, and other electronic communications are pervasively stored in the cloud, often in a different country; and (2) widespread use of encryption for these communications, so that wiretaps in the local country cannot gain access to the evidence.
Since early 2015, our research team has completed five academic papers, hosted conferences, and worked with global stakeholders to update rules and practices to match the new reality of globalized evidence for criminal cases.
Our research and policy efforts seek to promote four goals:
- Fulfill legitimate law enforcement requests, to investigate cybercrimes and other crimes where evidence is held in a different country;
- Protect privacy and civil liberties in the United States and globally, by assuring due process before evidence is sent to a different country;
- Provide a workable regime for the companies holding the communications records; and
- Safeguard the Internet by resisting calls to localize data and splinter the Internet.