Law enforcement faces new procedural challenges, many of which are impossible to address without international consensus and cooperation. Merely locating a hacker whose transmission passes from his computer to a local service provider, then through a telephone network, then crosses an ocean via satellite, and then passes through a university computer on its way to a corporate victim. To make matters worse, this hacker could be in his car, using wireless communications. How do we go about finding this individual?
As the globalization of computer networks continues, and as computer criminals become more sophisticated, law enforcement increasingly will need timely access to computer or telecommunications information in all countries. Up until this point, international regimes of mutual legal assistance have served countries well. But in a hacker case, the trail of evidence sometimes ends abruptly and permanently as soon as the hacker goes offline. Consideration is required as to whether international mutual legal assistance treaties and letters rogatory need to be supplemented with procedures that will facilitatethe immediate collection and review of evidence.
2. There is an urgent need for negotiating international agreements as to how, when and to what extent search and seizure of computers and computer information should be permitted.
3. Investigation and prosecution of international high-tech crimes must be coordinated among all concerned States, regardless of where harm has occurred.
4. Legal systems should permit the preservation of and quick access to electronic data, which are often critical to the successful investigation of crime.
5. Mutual assistance regimes must ensure the timely gathering and exchange of evidence in cases involving international high-tech crime.
6. Forensic standards for retrieving and authenticating electronic data for use in criminal investigations and prosecutions must be developed and employed.