Anna-Maria Osula will defend her doctoral thesis titled ” Remote search and seizure of extraterritorial data” on 17 April 2017 at 12:00.
Professor Jaan Ginter
Dr Christoffer Wong (University of Lund)
Summary: Due to increasing digitalization, criminal procedure has to take into account the characteristics of the Internet, related technologies and digitally stored or electronically transmitted data. The objective of the dissertation is to examine, building on the example of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (CoCC), the regulation of remote search and seizure in circumstances where the targeted evidence is extraterritorially located or where it is not possible to identify the exact location of the data (‘loss of location’). Remote search and seizure entails searches that are either carried out by extending the initial search and seizure to devices accessible from the originally searched device or by remotely conducting search and seizure from other devices such as the law enforcement’s own. In addition to discussing the traditional mutual legal assistance procedures and alternative measures for accessing extraterritorial data, the dissertation scrutinizes whether remote search and seizure of extraterritorial data entails an extraterritorial application of jurisdiction to enforce and whether it can thereby be viewed as a breach of territorial sovereignty of the other state. Furthermore, the dissertation examines how ‘loss of location’ influences the interpretation of territorial sovereignty. Particularly, CoCC Articles 19(2) and 32(b) are be studied and conclusions drawn on whether and how Estonia has transposed these articles to its domestic legislation. In analysing the regulation of remote search and seizure, the research offers a comparative view based on legal literature as well as interviews conducted with public prosecutors specialising in cyber crime from Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. The dissertation draws attention to the lack of clarity of the current Estonian regulation of remote search and seizure, and proposes elements that should be kept in mind while reviewing the Code of Criminal Procedure in order to guarantee both the effectiveness of criminal procedure as well as being in line with domestic and international norms.