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By SafeGov Contributor, Paul Rosenzweig.

Earlier this year the European Union released its new Agenda on Security. But the agenda, while admirable, is incomplete. It is missing a vital component – reform of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) process.

Europe’s new security agenda is an excellent first step toward greater EU cooperation in the cyber domain. European nations will work to reduce the barriers to cross-border cybercrime investigations, especially related to jurisdiction and evidence sharing. The agenda also obliges EU institutions to follow through on the 2013 Cybersecurity Strategy. That includes adopting a binding directive on network and information security.

As the agenda says, its goal is simple: “The implementation of this directive would not only promote better cooperation between law enforcement and cybersecurity authorities, but also provide for cybersecurity capacity building of competent member states’ authorities and cross-border incident notification.”

As a token of greater cooperation, the agenda also sets as a goal better law enforcement information sharing. It looks to Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre as “a central information hub for law enforcement.” In short, Europe is looking to get cyber serious.

But one component is missing – MLAT reform. Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties are the way police and prosecutors cooperate across borders. It is, for example, how police in Italy ask the police in America to collect evidence for them and send it back to Italy for a trial. The current process is simply not fit to the task.

To read the entire EurActiv article, click here.

Paul Rosenzweig is a senior adviser to The Chertoff Group and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the US Department of Homeland Security.

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EurActiv Network