10:30 - 11:00
Hello from the Other Side – Law Enforcement in the Cloud Age

Short thesis

How law enforcement agencies (LEA) get access to user data from service providers like Google, Facebook or Microsoft is poorly regulated. Established legal frameworks (Mutual Legal Assistance) are severely outdated and do not adequately protect our human rights. LEA investigations in the cloud are a messy business and currently dominated by pragmatism rather than the rule of law. The talk will highlight issues of the current practices and give an overview over the international reform debate.


Alice hates dogs and together with Bob they want to poison all the dogs in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Alice and Bob plan everything via GMail and Facebook messages. German police finds out and requests certain account data from Google and Facebook. But Google and Facebook are US-based companies. Whose laws apply?

From a law enforcement perspective “the cloud” is a messy business and although everybody is using these services on a daily basis, how, when and to what extent law enforcement may use this data is poorly regulated. Do Google and Facebook have to adhere to German law? Or does the German police have to adhere to US law? What if the servers are in Ireland or Alice and Bob are not German citizens?

Sensible answers to these questions and a legal framework based on the rule of law that protects human rights are desperately needed. The current mutual legal assistance treaties that are in place are slow and outdated. And law enforcement agencies are looking for ways to get quicker access to more data. Civil society and private companies in the US are pushing for a reform and Europe should have a voice in this debate. To make sure that our rights are protected. 

The talk will highlight the key issues of the current practices and provide an overview of the international reform debate.

#cloud #MLAT #LEA