As internet services become more ubiquitous — access to electronic data has become critical for officers to carry out criminal investigations — for crimes committed online and offline. With the most popular communication service providers located in the US, a law enforcement agent in India would have to access data under the India-US Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) even when the crime occurs in India and the victims and accused are Indian citizens.
The US government last year presented a draft legislation to address such cross-border data requests for criminal investigations — proposing a bilateral data sharing agreement between the US and UK. This agreement would enable law enforcement officers in the requesting country to obtain data directly from the company located abroad. A police officer would no longer have to rely on the long winding process under MLATs to access user data in most cases as a result.
To explore the contours of such a data sharing agreement between India and US, Observer Research Foundation, through interviews with law enforcement agencies (LEAs), communication service providers and policymakers attempted to identify elements in the current process that cause delays and hinder Indian law officers from acquiring electronic evidence stored in the United States.
On 9 August, ORF will be launching the report that contains findings and recommendations for data sharing practices, followed by a panel comprising of representatives from the government, LEAs and companies, to discuss India-US data sharing as well as assess the scope of a bilateral agreement.
Participation at this event is by invitation only.
Timing of this event is from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.