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Statssuveränitetens inverkan på transnationell insamling av digitala bevis – Om brottsbekämpande myndigheters rätt att tillgodogöra sig material lagrat inom en annan stats territorium

Karlsson, Martin LU (2020) JURM02 20201
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Modern teknologi har lett till utmaningar för de brottsbekämpande myndigheternas utredande verksamhet. Digitala bevis av relevans för ett brott begånget i en viss stat kan lagras på en server i en annan stat. Bevisens geografiska position kan också döljas med anonymitetsverktyg. Traditionellt sett har Lotus-principen hindrat myndigheter från att självständigt samla in sådana bevis, men den ineffektivitet som präglat tillgängliga metoder har resulterat i att alter-nativa lösningar som trotsat folkrätten har trätt fram.

Syftet med arbetet är att, mot bakgrund av den förändring som har skett på ett internationellt plan, klargöra huruvida svenska myndigheter enligt gällande rätt självständigt kan genomföra transnationell insamling av... (More)
Modern teknologi har lett till utmaningar för de brottsbekämpande myndigheternas utredande verksamhet. Digitala bevis av relevans för ett brott begånget i en viss stat kan lagras på en server i en annan stat. Bevisens geografiska position kan också döljas med anonymitetsverktyg. Traditionellt sett har Lotus-principen hindrat myndigheter från att självständigt samla in sådana bevis, men den ineffektivitet som präglat tillgängliga metoder har resulterat i att alter-nativa lösningar som trotsat folkrätten har trätt fram.

Syftet med arbetet är att, mot bakgrund av den förändring som har skett på ett internationellt plan, klargöra huruvida svenska myndigheter enligt gällande rätt självständigt kan genomföra transnationell insamling av digitala bevis. Därtill är avsikten att ta ställning till huruvida den svenska lagstiftaren bör stifta lag som uttryckligen tillåter att myndigheter självständigt samlar in digitala bevis lagrade i en annan stat. Genom att använda den rättsdogmatiska metoden har de traditionella rättskällorna granskats för att förverkliga uppsatsens ändamål.

Lotus-principen, som stadgats i ett internationellt rättsfall från år 1927, förbjuder all myndighetsutövning på en annan stats territorium. Även om principen alltjämt har en utpräglad inverkan på området står det klart att stater i allt större utsträckning uppfattar den som förlegad. Autonom insamling av bevis som är tillgängliga för alla via en webbläsare (open source) utgör redan internationell sedvanerätt. Vad gäller andra typer av digitala bevis uppger brottsbekämpande myndigheter att de i praktiken regelbundet agerar i strid med Lotus-principen. Därtill har ett flertal stater genom rättsliga avgöranden eller lagstiftning frångått principen.

Uppsatsens slutsats är att autonom insamling av digitala bevis lagrade i en annan stats territorium, med undantag för de fall som rör open source-material, strider mot gällande folkrätt, samtidigt som ny internationell sedvanerätt är under utveckling. De krav som ställs på enhetlighet och kontinuitet i statspraxis kan emellertid inte anses uppfyllda. Även om viss enhetlighet kan skönjas, innebär Lotus-principens centrala roll och det faktum att ny statspraxis inskränker statssuveräniteten att kraven är särskilt högt ställda. Trots att den skulle strida mot gällande folkrätt bör svensk lagstiftning som tillåter autonom insamling av digitala bevis lagrade i en annan stat införas. Sådan lagstiftning motiveras av en markant positiv inverkan på effektiviteten i brottsbekämpningen, möjligheten att utöva inflytande över pågående internationell rättsutveckling och att empirin talar för en utebliven negativ inverkan på internationella relationer. (Less)
Abstract
Modern technology has challenged the evidence-gathering function of law enforcement agencies. Digital evidence of relevance to a crime committed in one state can be stored on a server in another state. Furthermore, the geographical location of the evidence can be concealed by the use of anonymity tools. Traditionally, the Lotus principle has prevented agencies from independently collecting such evidence, but the inefficiency of available measures has led to the emergence of alternative solutions that defy international law.

The purpose of this thesis is to clarify whether Swedish law enforcement agencies, in the light of current international developments, have the right to autonomously carry out transnational collection of digital... (More)
Modern technology has challenged the evidence-gathering function of law enforcement agencies. Digital evidence of relevance to a crime committed in one state can be stored on a server in another state. Furthermore, the geographical location of the evidence can be concealed by the use of anonymity tools. Traditionally, the Lotus principle has prevented agencies from independently collecting such evidence, but the inefficiency of available measures has led to the emergence of alternative solutions that defy international law.

The purpose of this thesis is to clarify whether Swedish law enforcement agencies, in the light of current international developments, have the right to autonomously carry out transnational collection of digital evidence. In addition, the intention is to reach a conclusion as to whether the Swedish legislator should enact legislation that explicitly allows such a procedure. Using the legal dogmatic method, the traditional sources of law have been examined to realize the purpose of the thesis.

Enshrined in an international case from 1927, the Lotus principle prohibits all governmental exercise of authority within the territory of another state. Although the principle still has a pronounced effect on this area of law, it is clear that states increasingly consider it outdated. The autonomous collection of evidence that is accessible to anyone (open source) is always considered permissible under international customary law. With regard to other digital evidence, law enforcement agencies state that acts in violation of the Lotus principle occur regularly in practice. Moreover, a majority of states have departed from the principle by establishing judicial precedents or through legislation.

This thesis concludes that transnational autonomous collection of digital evidence, with the exception of cases involving open source material, is contrary to applicable international law, although new international customary law is under development. However, the requirements placed on uniformity and continuity in state practice cannot be considered fulfilled at present. Some uniformity can be discerned, but the requirements are particularly high due to the importance of the Lotus principle and the sovereignty restricting character of the new state practice. Nevertheless, Sweden should introduce legislation contrary to the Lotus principle. Such legislation would be justified by a substantial positive impact on the effectiveness of law enforcement, by the possibility of exerting influence on the ongoing international legal development and due to empirical evidence not suggesting any negative impact on international relations. (Less)
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author
Karlsson, Martin LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The effect of state sovereignty on transnational collection of digital evidence – On law enforcement agencies' right to access material stored in the territory of another state
course
JURM02 20201
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
straffrätt, folkrätt
language
Swedish
id
9010663
date added to LUP
2020-06-16 10:53:04
date last changed
2020-06-16 10:53:04
@misc{9010663,
  abstract     = {Modern technology has challenged the evidence-gathering function of law enforcement agencies. Digital evidence of relevance to a crime committed in one state can be stored on a server in another state. Furthermore, the geographical location of the evidence can be concealed by the use of anonymity tools. Traditionally, the Lotus principle has prevented agencies from independently collecting such evidence, but the inefficiency of available measures has led to the emergence of alternative solutions that defy international law.

The purpose of this thesis is to clarify whether Swedish law enforcement agencies, in the light of current international developments, have the right to autonomously carry out transnational collection of digital evidence. In addition, the intention is to reach a conclusion as to whether the Swedish legislator should enact legislation that explicitly allows such a procedure. Using the legal dogmatic method, the traditional sources of law have been examined to realize the purpose of the thesis. 

Enshrined in an international case from 1927, the Lotus principle prohibits all governmental exercise of authority within the territory of another state. Although the principle still has a pronounced effect on this area of law, it is clear that states increasingly consider it outdated. The autonomous collection of evidence that is accessible to anyone (open source) is always considered permissible under international customary law. With regard to other digital evidence, law enforcement agencies state that acts in violation of the Lotus principle occur regularly in practice. Moreover, a majority of states have departed from the principle by establishing judicial precedents or through legislation.

This thesis concludes that transnational autonomous collection of digital evidence, with the exception of cases involving open source material, is contrary to applicable international law, although new international customary law is under development. However, the requirements placed on uniformity and continuity in state practice cannot be considered fulfilled at present. Some uniformity can be discerned, but the requirements are particularly high due to the importance of the Lotus principle and the sovereignty restricting character of the new state practice. Nevertheless, Sweden should introduce legislation contrary to the Lotus principle. Such legislation would be justified by a substantial positive impact on the effectiveness of law enforcement, by the possibility of exerting influence on the ongoing international legal development and due to empirical evidence not suggesting any negative impact on international relations.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Martin},
  keyword      = {straffrätt,folkrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Statssuveränitetens inverkan på transnationell insamling av digitala bevis – Om brottsbekämpande myndigheters rätt att tillgodogöra sig material lagrat inom en annan stats territorium},
  year         = {2020},
}