The European Commission has outlined new requirements for telecoms companies, clouds, email service providers, and operators of messaging apps, to produce snooping data on a specified individual within six hours of a rquest.
The proposed European
Production Order will allow a judicial authority in one Member State to request electronic evidence (such as emails, text or messages in apps) directly from internet companies with an office in any Member State. The data may be nominally held overseas
but will still have to be produced.
That super-short deadline will only be imposed in the case of an emergency. Less urgent investigations have been offered a ten-day deadline.
A European Preservation Order will also be issued to stop
service providers deleting data.
The Production Orders will be applicable only to crimes punishable with a maximum sentence of at least three years, but governments have been artificially increasing maximum sentences for quite a while now to
ensure that relatively minor crimes can be classed as 'serious'.
The EU Commission has cited terrorism as the justifications for the new requirements, but a 3 year maximum sentence rather suggests that the these orders will be used for more widely
than just for terrorism prevention.