EPC published a joint position on E-Evidence
The EPC joined a number of European media organisations and associations in taking a position on the E-Evidence draft regulation presented by the European institutions.
The position paper reiterates the position EPC took in an earlier statement last November 2019, on the concerns of European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters as it could pose serious threat for freedom of the media, freedom of expression and freedom of information without robust safeguars.
The EPC supports the following proposals:
- A mandatory and automatic notification procedure to the Executing State and, where relevant, to the Affected State is crucial. Ideally both States but at least the Executing State should be able to to bring their concerns as regards the lawfulness of an order, and when necessary, oppose the enforcement and execution of the order before any data is allowed to be issues ('suspensive effect').
- Grounds for non-recognition and non-execution orders should be clearly established in the draft regulation. Welcoming suggestions for a new Article 10a.
- A clear definition of immunities and privileges is also key, which must encompass rules relating to media freedom and freedom of information. This warrants a clarification that key pillars of press and media freedom, such as the protection of sources and editorial secrecy, are explicitly covered.
- We are concerned that the regulation could allow media content to be provided without our organisations being informed. Informing the person whose data is being sought ("user information") should therefore be set as the general rule unless a duly justified request is made otherwise by the competent judicial or adminitrative authority following due process.
- In addition, the affected person or organisation should have access to effective remedies both in the Issuing and Executing States.
For full position, please follow this link.