China: New regulation to allow authorities’ access to personal information on social media & used as evidence in court

"Chinese law enforcement agencies can now secretly request access to personal information posted on social media...Starting Oct.1, authorities investigating criminal cases have the right to ask for information posted on social media including WeChat and Weibo...They can then submit the data as evidence in court…"

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21 September 2016

Tencent’s WeChat Social Media Posts Count as Criminal Evidence

Author: Bloomberg News

Chinese law enforcement agencies can now secretly request access to personal information posted on social media services such as Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat, as the country shores up its ability to rein in online discourse and monitor public opinion. Starting Oct.1, authorities investigating criminal cases have the right to ask for information posted on social media including WeChat and Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, according to regulations published on Sept. 21. They can then submit the data as evidence in court…

Text messages, online chat records and blog information could be admitted as evidence in criminal cases since 2012. The country is now exploring broader legislation that will require internet network operators to provide technical support to authorities investigating crimes or potential breaches of national security.

“The breadth of duties to cooperate with authorities in investigations...is a concern, in particular given the relatively small role for judicial oversight in the procedures for conducting investigations in China,” Hogan Lovells lawyers Mark Parsons and Nolan Shaw wrote in a report…The move to allow authorities freer rein with social media content is also aimed at cracking down on fraud and blackmail, according to the state-owned China Daily…[also refers to Apple]

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Author: 兵临, 新浪

…日前,最高法、最高检、公安部联合下发《关于办理刑事案件收集提取和审查判断电子数据若干问题的规定》,明确网页、博客、微博客、朋友圈、贴吧、网盘等网络平台发布的信息属于电子数据,法院、检察院和公安机关有权依法向有关单位和个人收集、调取电子数据。这意味着,手机短信、朋友圈中的内容将能作为刑事案件证据,因而引起普通民众的广泛关注。

  随着现代信息技术发展,电子数据在打击犯罪中所起的作用越来越大。为此,我国刑事诉讼法将电子数据规定为法定证据种类之一,有利于执法部门更加精准地揭露、证实犯罪。电子数据形态日新月异,其属性特征也区别于传统证据种类,这决定了此类证据的提取和审查亦有别于其他证据。但是,立法并没有明确电子数据的具体范围,对其提取和审查判断也未作专门规定。在这种背景下,《规定》的出台能更有针对性地规范取证行为,发挥好电子数据在查证犯罪上的功能。

  应该看到,对于电子数据进行规范,指向的是打击犯罪和保障个人隐私的双重目的。我们不能只是片面关注提取电子数据对于打击犯罪的功能,而忽略了其对执法人员取证行为的规范功能…

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Author: 兵臨, 新浪

…日前,最高法、最高檢、公安部聯合下發《關於辦理刑事案件收集提取和審查判斷電子數據若干問題的規定》,明確網頁、博客、微博客、朋友圈、貼吧、網盤等網絡平台發布的信息屬於電子數據,法院、檢察院和公安機關有權依法向有關單位和個人收集、調取電子數據。這意味著,手機短信、朋友圈中的內容將能作為刑事案件證據,因而引起普通民眾的廣泛關注。

隨著現代信息技術發展,電子數據在打擊犯罪中所起的作用越來越大。為此,我國刑事訴訟法將電子數據規定為法定證據種類之一,有利於執法部門更加精準地揭露、證實犯罪。電子數據形態日新月異,其屬性特徵也區別於傳統證據種類,這決定了此類證據的提取和審查亦有別於其他證據。但是,立法並沒有明確電子數據的具體範圍,對其提取和審查判斷也未作專門規定。在這種背景下,《規定》的出台能更有針對性地規範取證行為,發揮好電子數據在查證犯罪上的功能。

應該看到,對於電子數據進行規範,指向的是打擊犯罪和保障個人隱私的雙重目的。我們不能只是片面關注提取電子數據對於打擊犯罪的功能,而忽略了其對執法人員取證行為的規範功能…

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