On 6 and 7 April, the second plenary meeting of the European Judicial Cybercrime Network (EJCN or the Network) was held at Eurojust. The meeting, chaired by the Network’s informal board (comprised of members from the Member States holding the trio EU presidencies), was attended by prosecutors and cybercrime experts from 25 Member States plus Norway, Switzerland and the USA, as well as representatives from Eurojust, the Council, the Commission, the EJN and Europol.
On the agenda were the adoption of the EJCN’s two-year work programme, a case presentation and discussions on encryption and the European Investigation Order.The EJCN’s work programme covers topics such as electronic evidence, encryption and data retention and describes the Network’s activities in these areas, which will be performed in close cooperation with EU institutions and agencies.
During the meeting, participation of the EJCN in the ongoing work of the Commission in the area of encryption was discussed. Encryption of communications and data offers a significant challenge to effective criminal investigations and prosecutions. Exchange of experience and best practice is indispensable when dealing with this challenge.
Prosecutors from Germany and the USA presented the recent Avalanche case, which involved an unprecedented takedown of a cybercriminal infrastructure. In close cooperation with private industry partners, more than 800 000 internet domains were sinkholed, marking the largest such intervention ever performed.
Lastly, EJCN members discussed the application of the European Investigation Order (EIO) for the expedited preservation of electronic evidence.
The EJCN was established by Council Conclusion of 9 June 2016 (10025/16) with the objective of facilitating the exchange of expertise and best practice, enhancing cooperation between the competent judicial authorities when dealing with cybercrime, cyber-enabled crime and investigations in cyberspace, and fostering dialogue to ensure the rule of law in cyberspace. The EJCN held its kick-off meeting in November 2016.
Eurojust provides support to the EJCN in organising meetings, maintaining the restricted access website of the network, facilitating the day-to-day activities of the Board, and assisting in the implementation of the work programme. Continuity in the activities will be monitored by an informal Board, which is comprised of the EJCN members from the Member States holding the trio presidencies and Eurojust.
Michèle Coninsx, President of Eurojust, said: ‘New crimes cannot be efficiently fought with old tools and structures. Organised crime groups are agile, adaptive and innovative. To do our jobs well, we need to learn and to evolve. More momentum is needed. The EJCN is a new structure, but great interest has already been shown in its activities and the expertise it pools. Eurojust is proud to support this network, which exists to assist practitioners in coping with the constantly shifting landscape.’
Note to readers: Due to maintenance in preparation for the move to the new Eurojust premises, the Eurojust website will not be available on 13 and 14 April 2017. We apologise for any inconvenience.