Safeguarding Europe’s free and independent media is vital to sustain our democracies. However, media freedom could be put at risk by a current EU proposal that intends to make it easier for criminal investigations to gather electronic evidence from other EU countries. In a new joint statement, the EBU - together with seven other organizations representing media and journalists - reiterates calls for changes to the proposed e-Evidence legislation.
Our message is clear: media freedom and fundamental rights cannot take a backseat to efficiency in cross-border investigations. We do not put the objective of the e-Evidence proposal into question: effective gathering of cross-border electronic evidence is crucial for criminal investigations. But we believe that details in the e-evidence proposal can be set out in a way that delivers its objective without endangering media freedom and fundamental rights.
Precisely how the e-Evidence proposal needs to be shaped can be read in our joint statement. As the proposal makes its way through the legislative journey, we urge decision makers to make these critical changes as soon as possible.
At the very least, we would reiterate our support for the European Parliament’s position, which is an important step towards an effective safeguard of media freedom and fundamental rights. These principals must be effectively preserved in the e-Evidence regulation.