Investigators and Prosecutors gathered in Lisbon to discuss on the Digital Evidence Manual

Lisbon, 26th April 2018: Over the past three days, about 70 professionals of law enforcement and judicial authorities of the EU and Euromed partner Countries participated in the 1st Euromed Conference on Digital Evidence, which took place in Lisbon in the premises of the Portuguese Judicial Police.

In a world where the use of internet is growing exponentially, the cost and the impact of cybercrime has nowadays a significant impact on our societies, ranging from terrorist use of social media, harvesting of personal information and data to child pornography, among others. Euromed countries are obviously affected by these phenomenon’s when, as an example, Egypt gained more than 14 millions Facebook users, Algeria 9.3 million and Morocco 5.5 million in 2016 (Arab Social Media Report 2017).

This joint initiative between Euromed Justice and Police is meeting a critical need while “Online publishing of reprehensive content only takes 5 seconds for a criminal. Convicting this same criminal can, in the opposite, take years” explained Mariusz Zurawek, founder of JustPasteit present in Lisbon.

In this context, the gathering of electronic evidence can be important information to show where a suspect is located, who they are associating with and what they are communicating. To succeed in this task, law enforcement and justice professionals have to adapt to a constantly changing environment, learn new codes and techniques and often carry out their actions in a cross-border context.

Therefore, the objective of the Euromed Manual on Digital Evidence is to provide judges and investigators with suitable tools to engage with the so-called Communication and Internet Service Providers (CISPs), in order to  collect and adequately handle electronic evidence. “In my career, I have rarely seen a tool that responds so much to the needs of investigators”, explained one cybercrime expert referring to the newly published manual.

In addition to the presentation of this handbook, the objective of this Euromed Digital Evidence Conference also was to put together stakeholders from law enforcement, prosecutors and the CISP’s in order to lay down a working mechanism that will foster the dialogue between them in a very concrete and operational way. This mechanism will be implemented with the support of Europol, building upon the already operating Euromed Threat Forum.