22 August 2023, Islamabad – The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) organized a two-day workshop on requesting electronic evidence in terrorism-related cases.
A diverse group of 33 participants, including a female attendee, represented various service providers such as Ufone/ PTCL, ZONG, Jazz/ Mobicash, Easy Paisa, U Bank, World Call Telecom, Bykea, PTA Pakistan Post, NADRA, Bank Alfalah, Advans Pakistan Microfinance Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, and Meezan Bank.
The workshop's main goal was to develop model forms for law enforcement officials (LEAs) seeking electronic evidence from service providers and equipping participants with a clear and customized understanding of a practical guide designed for Pakistan's context. Over those two days, participants learned about electronic evidence and its role in investigations and legal proceedings and understood the importance of collaborations between law enforcement agencies.
Participants also learned and became aware of the legal framework of Pakistan regarding electronic evidence and the challenges and opportunities in managing and using electronic evidence while gaining insight into the Pakistani law on data sharing and the role of LEAs and service providers. The workshop also featured insights from local industry experts and practices in response to the requests received from law enforcement officials. The workshop also featured insights from industry experts, including representatives from TikTok and Booking.com, who had shed light on obtaining electronic evidence from service providers and how they had developed forms for law enforcement officials. Of note was the highlighting of challenges in the recommendations and solutions to bridge the existing gaps and areas of improvement between LEAs and service providers.
As the workshop concluded, participants expressed their gratitude for the efforts of UNODC in organizing the event. They had recognized the importance of model forms for Requesting Electronic Evidence Across Borders as a significant step in Pakistan's fight against terrorism.
The workshop for service providers was funded by the U.S. Embassy's Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) as part of Pakistan's Terrorism Prevention Programme (PTP2) concerning Sindh and Balochistan.