Ten Tips for Improving Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties

4390_image001The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has published a proposal for improving Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) that would foster cross-border communications services, protect essential individual rights, reduce conflict of law difficulties and reduce the risk of countries establishing unnecessary local communications infrastructure requirements solely for crime investigation purposes.

The ICC Commission on the Digital Economy prepared the policy statement because modernized MLATs will bring clarity and transparency to the growing challenges of accessing information associated with cross-border communications services. As government investigations into serious crime and terrorism rely increasingly on lawful access to data that may be stored outside their country – due to new communications services such as mobile roaming, social media or cloud computing – it is appropriate for the MLAT model of cooperation to be updated to reflect the modern communications landscape.

“Modernizing MLATs so that they reflect the communications landscape can be a “win-win-win” for the broader public interest, governments and communications service providers,” said Eric H. Loeb, chair of the ICC Task Force on Internet and Telecommunications, and vice president of international external affairs with AT&T.

“As an essential part of this paper, we highlight the primary need for governments to ensure that the use of lawful access to information as part of an investigation is transparent and proportional, and consistent with all other legal and policy protections for consumers and businesses, such as information security, human rights, and privacy,” Loeb added.

Click here to read more on ICC’s website.

More on USCIB’s Information, Communications and Technology Committee

Staff Contact:   Barbara Wanner

VP, ICT Policy & Managing Director, Washington Office
Tel: 202.617.3155

Barbara Wanner directs USCIB’s work on information, communications and technology issues. She works with members and government officials on a wide range of international business issue that include advocating for the continuation of the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance and for policies aimed at promoting the stability, openness and innovative flexibility of the Internet. She represents USCIB members’ interests in several international forums, including the UN, APEC and the OECD.
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