The Portuguese authorities (Judiciary Police and Public Prosecutor’s Office) have sent more than 8,000 requests directly to Facebook, Microsoft and Google since 2013 to obtain evidence in cases of cybercrime suspicions.
The Diario de Noticais which covered the story states these are crimes of a distinct nature but with one point in common: those undertaken through the internet and social media. Fraudulent online sales cases (which take up a significant portion of cybercrime), identity theft, fake profile creation on Facebook, child pornography, or bank phishing.
The data are contained in the Annual Report of the Office of Cybercrime (affection for the Office of the Attorney General) and evaluates the period from January 2013 to June 2016.
In detail, the authorities sent 2,622 requests for clarification directly to Facebook, 2847 to Microsoft and 2798 to Google. A total of 8267 requests sent through a direct contact, thus dispensing with the most bureaucratic routes. A method of work admitted since 2013 in which these three North American operators were approached by the Portuguese Public Prosecutor’s Office “for the purpose, which was accepted, of establishing criteria of understanding and cooperation. As a result of this approach, it became possible to formulate directly requests to those US service providers, “the report explains. ” No need to resort to the channels of international cooperation.
In the period Jan to June 2016, the Public Prosecutor made 782 requests to Google and 731 to Facebook. Information was provided by Google in 63% of cases and Facebook 48.6%.
This mechanism has proven to be highly effective in practice, facilitating the collection of essential information for criminal investigation expeditiously without the need for bureaucratic complexities of mutual legal assistance mechanisms. ”
The report also reveals that cases of child pornography – some of these cases carried through social networks and websites – have increased. From October 2013 to June 2016, the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP) received 2880 reports. Of these, 1350 gave rise to the opening of inquiry, of which 601 were sent to regions. According to the 2016 Annual Homeland Security Report – revealed this month – crimes of child pornography on the Internet grew by 36 % Compared to 2015.