Cross Border CrimeNews

SIRIUS and An Garda Síochána advance collaboration in cross-border access to electronic evidence

On the 25 and 26 April 2024, over 47 representatives from 25 law enforcement authorities (LEAs) across Europe as well as 29 representatives from 15 companies met in Dublin, Ireland, at the invitation of An Garda Síochána and the SIRIUS project, at the The SIRIUS SPoC Network Meeting. The meeting served for participants to share the latest developments, best practices, common challenges and possible solutions in the area of cross-border access to electronic evidence. Countries with no Single Point of Contact (SPoC) in place attended the event as observers, to assess if any of the established methods could possibly be of interest and put in place within their own agencies. 

The recently adopted Digital Services Act (DSA) and e-Evidence legislative framework will change the way stakeholders handle cross-border evidence. As a platform for European policing solutions and to prepare law enforcement officials for these legislative changes, the event saw a variety of panel sessions made up of law enforcement and private companies alike to interact and discuss the challenges ahead and to come up with future solutions. As private companies hold most electronic evidence, SIRIUS’ initiative to create this opportunity for closer collaboration between law enforcement and service providers (SPs) is crucial to establish a basis for mutual understanding and the exchange of positive experiences.

Representatives of well-known social media, travel, and accommodation platforms shared their views and experiences on strategic and technical levels to enhance cooperation by providing successful examples of real investigations. At the special request of SIRIUS and An Garda Síochána, these SPs also invited LEAs to their HQs to exchange knowledge and expertise and show how they handle data requests. 

SPoCs are crucial actors in online criminal investigations; they mediate and increase the success of requests for electronic evidence between investigators and private companies in criminal investigations. Although currently several countries in Europe have a national SPoC established, their models and working practices vary significantly.

The SIRIUS SPoC Network Meeting is part of the SIRIUS project’s activities dedicated to improving cross-border access to electronic evidence. SIRIUS provides a range of services and products to support LEAs in their e-Evidence journey including general and specific guidelines, online tools and training sessions.