Egypt: Working with Social Media and Internet Providers to investigate Organized Crimes

28th June 2018 - Cairo, Egypt

Popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Messenger have become popular among perpetrators of crimes, including offences of terrorism, trafficking and smuggling.

Therefore, cooperation with social media platforms and internet service providers has become essential in criminal investigations to obtain evidence to investigate and prosecute such crimes. 

Due to technical and legal restrictions, essential procedures need to be established to facilitate the process of obtaining information from Internet Service Providers.

In this regard, UNODC organized a workshop on "Obtaining Information from Social Media and Internet Service Providers in Criminal Investigations" from 27 to 28 June 2018 in Cairo, Egypt with the participation of law enforcement officials, prosecutors and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior. 

The workshop covered abroad range of critical topics, including  thorough discussions on policies and regulations of Facebook and Uber in responding to formal and informal requests for information from national and foreign law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.

Also, challenges and best practices for international cooperation through Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) for requesting information from ICT companies along with the Egyptian experience were discussed. Obtaining information from Open Sources on the Internet (OSINT) was also explored. Experts shared an overview of new trends of financing criminal activities using the internet, as well as the use of virtual currencies for financing activities of organized crime and terrorist groups.

Participants and experts took actively part in the plenary discussion on proposals and recommendations to strengthen international cooperation in terms of requesting information from internet services providers, and information and communication companies.

The activity was organized jointly by the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch and the UNODC ROMENA Anti- Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants Team contributing to the Sustainable Development Goal 16 supporting effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.

The workshop was possible thanks to the financial contributions by Austria and Japan.