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News > Statement by The Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran Before The Fifth session of the Expert Group to Conduct a Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime

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Statement by The Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran Before The Fifth session of the Expert Group to Conduct a Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime

Statement by


The Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran


The Fifth sessionof the Expert Group to Conduct a Comprehensive Study on Cybercrime


Agenda item 3

 Electronic evidence and criminal justice


Vienna, 27-29 March, 2019


In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


Mr. Chairman,

As to the agenda item Electronic evidence and criminal justice, my delegation would like to touch upon some important national legislative and executive measures have been taken on this agenda item.

  • As an essential element in preventing and combating cybercrime, the admissibility of electronic evidence has been integral to substantive and procedural laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran and has particularly been addressed in the Procedural Law of Computer Crimes and the Bylaw on Collection and Admissibility of Electronic Evidence, ensuring a balance between procedural powers and the right to privacy. These laws outline modes of collection of electronic evidence, liability of Internet Service Providers and responsibilities of law enforcement authorities in protection of data, computer systems and privacy when conducting search and seizure for obtaining electronic evidence.
  • The Procedural Law of Computer Crimes, previously part of the Computer Crime Act of 2009, later incorporated into the Criminal Procedural Law with minor modifications, establishes the Iranian courts’ jurisdiction over computer crimes, requires the Judiciary to allocate proportionately specialized judicial branches for investigation, prosecution and adjudication of cybercrimes and outlines conditions as well as procedures for search and seizure of electronic evidence, data and computer systems.  According to Article 664 of the Law, the Iranian Courts shall have jurisdiction when criminal data or data utilized for commission of crime have been saved in computer systems located in the territory of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the crime has been committed outside the country and against governmental or public service computer systems on a large scale or when the computer crime includes abuse of persons under 18 years old.
  • Setting rules and conditions on search and seizure of data, the Law also ensures due process and protection of privacy in collecting electronic evidence. Article 671 to 672 of the Law allows court orders on search and seizure of data only when there is a strong and reasonable ground for it and search or seizure is ought to be conducted in the presence of the legal owner of the data and computer systems, when available, while any seizure entailing damage to property or leading to disruption of public service is forbidden, as established in Article 679. 
  •  In addition, the Bylaw on Collection and Admissibility of Electronic Evidence, approved for implementing Article 54 of the Computer Crime Act of 2009 on collection and admissibility of electronic evidence also addresses executive procedures regarding electronic evidence.  Pursuant to Article 36 of the Bylaw, search and seizure for electronic evidence, which is to be conducted by authorized persons with the necessary expertise, only includes computer systems and data explicitly mentioned in the court order. Also, According to Article 22, any disclosure of electronic evidence is subject to court order and under no other circumstances should the law enforcement authorities release the seized data; disclosure of protected data by public officers is punishable up to 6 months imprisonment and appropriate fine as the Procedural Law of Computer Crimes establishes in Article 669.
  • In addition, the Cyber Emergencies Center of Cyber Police, operating 24/7, conducts operations for collection and preservation of electronic evidence upon the submission of incident report by victims or witnesses of cybercrime.
  • The Electronic Commerce Act of 2004 as one of the earliest substantive legal frameworks recognizing electronic evidence gives particular attention to protection of personal data of individuals by criminalizing the misuse of personal data, infringement of consumer’s rights, and disclosure of commercial classified information in electronic transactions. In relation to the electronic evidence, the Act states that in electronic contracts disputes, evidence might be in form of data messages and forbids any rejection of such evidence in court decisions for prima facie reasons.
  • The aforementioned legal frameworks have been substantial in preventing and combating cybercrime, however certain challenges remain to be addressed regarding electronic evidence which needs particular attention of the international community.
  • Internet and social media have indispensable roles in electronic evidence needed for criminal investigation and prosecution of organized crime committed in or through cyberspace. Organized criminal groups utilize various internet platforms to communicate and coordinate their criminal activities in anonymity, recruit victims for human trafficking purposes and launder proceeds of crime, however criminal activities in cyberspace leave traces in form of data which could fairly be utilized for investigation and prosecution of criminals. This fact gives social networking service providers a particular status in collecting electronic evidence and makes them indispensable stakeholders in the fight against cybercrime
  • In the Islamic Republic of Iran, certain legal instruments such as the Procedural Law of Computer Crimes have addressed the issue through recognizing the responsibility of domestic internet and social networking service providers in cooperation on criminal matters with national authorities while ensuring privacy of individuals and protection of personal data. Consequently, law enforcement authorities are enabled to detect organized criminal activities on cyberspace, collect and preserve electronic evidence, investigate and prosecute perpetrators and when necessary and appropriate, within the domestic legal frameworks, cooperate with Interpol, Europol and many countries in the world on that matter. However, considering the fact that a certain number of popular social networking services are located in foreign countries owned by private sectors, lack of a sound legal basis for cooperation of such entities with States has hindered effective responses to cybercrime and provided a safe haven for transnational organized criminal groups to put the rule of law in jeopardy at a national and international level.

Mr. Chairman,

  • Having said so, I would like to conclude that recognizing the responsibilities of social networking service providers in countering cybercrime is of utmost significance, and taking appropriate measures by States, specifically those benefited from technological developments hosting social media providers, in cooperation of these entities on criminal matters including electronic evidence is crucial.

 Thank you very much.

11:37 - 31/03/2019    /    Number : 563834    /    Show Count : 34


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