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Private sector proposes new cyber norms

The Internet industry is under increasing pressure by governments to provide digital information to be used in criminal investigations and anti-terrorist activities.

Traditional channels for international cooperation are slow and cumbersome.

A regular legal process for obtaining digital evidence via Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) may take at least ten months. To bring the legal system up to speed for the digital era, Google has proposed new norms for providing digital evidence to foreign governments.

Google’s proposal would allow law enforcement to request digital evidence directly from Internet companies, bypassing the need to go through MLAT channels.

According to the proposal, this would work only between countries that adhere to privacy, human rights, and due process standards.

Google’s proposal comes only a few months after Microsoft’s proposal for a Digital Geneva Convention.