SERVICES > LEGAL ASSISTANCE > CRIMINAL ROGATORY
IX- INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL ROGATORY PROCEDURES ON INTERNET-BASED CRIMES:

GENERAL INFO:

World-wide internet services like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Skype, Hotmail, Twitter, Youtube have their centers established in the USA. The cyber-crimes committed in our country are mostly perpetrated through these services. We demand the necessary information for legal investigation from American judicial authorities through criminal rogatory means.

Due to complex structure of cyber crimes and the USA’s different judicial system (Anglo-Saxon), it is necessary that criminal rogatory requests regarding this issue should satisfy some certain conditions. The compiled information related to the issue are shared below, in order to provide a more clear understanding, based on the problems faced during implementation.  We will regularly update our web site because of dynamic structure of cyber crimes.

 CONTRACTUAL STATUS:

Criminal Rogatory and Extradition transactions between Turkey and the USA are implemented within the framework of provisions of “ Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between Turkey and the USA on Extradition and Criminal Matters”.

These points should be taken into account about criminal rogatory requests regarding Internet-based crimes:

a) Legal Access Duration to Traffic Information (IP records, etc) regarding the Crime:

aa) Data Storage Durations of companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc :
Traffic Information: Related to all kinds of access on the Net, these info consist of parties, time, duration, type of service utilized, amount of data uploaded and contact points. IP data are a kind of traffic info.
According to USA legislations, (18 U.S.C. 2703 – f) traffic information of cyber crimes are kept for 90 days by service providers or access providers. Within this period, another 90 days of data protection can be provided, if demanded by the official authorities.
Therefore, if the application for obtaining related traffic info is made  after 180 days (6 months) following the comission of the offense, then those data providers might refuse the said demand due to expiry of the storage duration of the data. In practice, the protection durations of data might differ for different service providers. It is likely that, even after 180 days following the commission of the crime, the demanded data may still be accessible. But, it is a very low possibility to access to the related data after 1 year of time following the commission of the crime.

ab)  Data Protection Duration for the service providers in Turkey:

It has been stated in the relevant Internet Crimes Laws that the service providers are obliged to keep the data not less than 6 months and not more than 2 years depending on the designated durations in the relevant regulations.
Based on the same Law, the Article 8 (b) of the Circular on Procedures regarding Regulations about Internet-based Publications, , the service provider has the obligation to keep the data for 1 year. It is clear that, due to limitations mentioned in the relevant Circular, the service providers keep the traffic info for 1 year, including IP datas, thus, they have no obligation to provide those info after 1 year’s duration following the comission of the crime.
However, the Directorate of Telecommunication (TİB), keeps the traffic info for 5 years and provides info for the judicial authorities, in case demanded.

PREPARATION OF CRIMINAL LETTER ROGATORY REQUEST:

A crime committed on the Net may be  an e-mail, a message delivered on a social networking site, an article or a video image. Letter rogatory about those crimes should include the following details;
- If the subject of the crime is an email, then, the sender and the receiver of the e-mail, sending time and date of it,
- If the subject of the crime is a picture, article, or a video image, the ID number and user name of the profile should be clarified where those contents are.

Example:

User name : lightsaber
ID number : www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1635577911

  • Depending on the subject of the crime, a printout (if possible, colored) of the website, profile accoount or a readable copy of the sent e-mail should be provided and the time and date of printing should be written on it.
  • If the subject website is not acessible or the crime under consideration is altered, this situation should be annexed to the request together with its minutes.
  • If the subject matter is a video image, a detailed information must be provided about it, as much as possible and additionally, its link should be stated.

Ex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dem4SyAlfeI&feature=fvsr

Furthermore, frames from the video image must be printed in photo format and if this is not possible, this video image must be written on a CD and be annexed to the request.

  • The beginning and the termination dates of broadcasting of the subject matter content must be stated clearly in the day/month/year format.
  • It must be clearly explained, on what grounds, the broadcast content is to be considered to have a criminal nature and besides how the elements of the crime were constituted.

Ex: If it is claimed that, taking hold of the e-mail or facebook account of the victim illegally and then, asking for money and phone credit from the victim’s friends, constitute a fraud crime, then it is necessary to clarify in the request that how this offense constitutes a fraud or manipulative deception crime.
For example, in the case of a hacked e-mail account or a facebook address,  through a brief investigation by asking on the phone to the subject person whether he/she is the real possessor of the said accounts, it is possible to come to a conclusion whether the crime has a manipulative deception nature or not.
OBLIGATION TO GET THE CONSENT OF THE LAWYER

In order to get the plea of a suspect or a defendant through criminal letter rogatory in the USA, where his/her lawyer is in Turkey, it is necessary that that lawyer should give consent to that. Without this consent, the USA authorities do not accept the request. Therefore, a sample consent form is declared below. It must bear wet signature on it and it must be sealed and then it must be annexed to the request together with its translation.

LETTER OF CONSENT

I am working as the lawyer of the suspect …………………. on the criminal investigsation case carried out by the ………….. Prosecution General. I am giving consent to  interrogation of the said person by judicial authorities of the USA or meeting the other requests specified in the legal assistance written request. (date)

 

Consenter                                                                  Court Clerk                                     Judge

Lawyer :

LETTER OF CONSENT

I am working as the lawyer of the suspect …………………. on the criminal proceeding being carried out by the ………….. Court. I am giving consent to  interrogation of the said person by judicial authorities of the USA or meeting the other requests specified in the legal assistance written request. (date)

 

Consenter                                                                  Court Clerk                                     Judge

Lawyer :  

REQUESTS REGARDING INSULT, VITUPERATION AND DEFAMATION

According to American legislations, insult, vituperation and defamation acts are not considered to be offenses. Before requesting a criminal rogatory from the said state regarding the relevant offenses in both internet medium and real life, it will be useful to get into contact through email address tahsin.taskin@adalet.gov.tr by writing uhdigm@adalet.gov.tr on the info/cc part, for demanding information about the techical details of the issue. (Only e-mails having “adalet.gov.tr” extensions are answered back)

REQUESTS REGARDING OFFENSES COMMITTED ON THE NET THROUGH ILLEGAL ACCESS TO CREDIT CARD AND BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION

Before making a legal assistance request from the USA, the requester should ask for information through email as stated above.

Requests regarding IT companies or service providers located in the USA:

Because the centers of the IT companies like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Skype and Twitter are in the USA, for the legal assistance requests to be made from those companies with the purpose of getting traffic or IP data, regarding offenses committed by using addresses or mail accounts that belong to them, the USA judicial authorities should be addressed. Since the aforementioned companies’ overseas branches are usually established for commercial purposes, those branches do not have access to traffic records or IP data.

Requests from Hotmail, Winodwslive and MSN (all websites of Microsoft):

All the web services of the Microsoft company –Hotmail, Windowslive, MSN, etc- are giving the traffic and IP data, when the Turkish judicial authorities, at the stage of investigation or prosecution,  directly apply to their agencies located in Turkey. Therefore, in order to obtain the subject matter info, one should directly apply to the Microsoft company’s office, which is stated below:

Contact Details of Turkey Office of Microsoft:

Microsoft Corporation, Levent District, Aydın Street, No: 7 P.O. Box: 34240
Levent – IST

CRIMINAL LETTER ROGATORY REQUEST for Offenses of Threat:

According to the USA laws and their practice, the limits of freedom of speech is vey broad, thus, in order to consider an statement to be an offense, it must have the base elements of a crime. Therefore, a request regarding the offenses to be claimed to have committed on the Net or in real life, (including IP records) those details should be clarified :

  • why the written or oral statement that is subject to the request constitutes a crime,
  • whether the statement contains an element of violence or not,
  • whether such a statement scares a person or not objectively.

DISCONTINUATION OF BROADCASTING OF THE OFFENSIVE CONTENT

In all social networking websites, there are chances for users to apply for banning the publication of unfavorable content. The complaints of the users are largely taken into consideration and the undesired contents are banned.
However, those USA-centered services may interperet the freedom of speech in an extremely tolerant way unlike us and thus, they may refuse to ban the undesired content.
On the other hand, some social networking sites might exhibit different approaches about the issue depending on their company policy. The following lines are clarifying their approaches to the issue. Also, their contact info are given.

  • Facebook:

They may ban the unfavorable content on the requests made through an application of users or through an official email address allocated for the Directorate of Telecommunication (TİB).
They are refusing direct demands for IP info provisions done by our judicial authorities. Thus, such requests must be made to the USA through mediation of our Ministry.
However, they consider the offenses like attempt to suicide, attempt to murder, finding a lost person or sexual abuse of children as urgent cases and therefore they give the requred traffic or IP data in case there is a direct application made by our judicial authorities.
For example, if someone wrote on the facebook chat that he would kill someone, then they respond very quickly to a request made by the Prosecution Office of finding the IP address of the person who wrote the message.
After obtaining the IP records, this info is transmitted to the service provider or to TİB and subsequently, the location of the IP address is spotted and told to the Prosecutor.
Here, it is very important to state the date and time of the information written on the page. Also, the time zone must be stated.
For example: A person wrote that he would commit suicide on  4 April 2012. In the request to be written by the Prosecution Office to Facebook, it must be stated that this message was written at 14:00 by local Turkish time.

Contact Info of Facebook in Turkey:

BTS Partners Lawyer Office
Lawyer Yasin BECENİ
Meşrutiyet Str. No: 19 Güneş Han. 2nd Floor, 34430 Beyoğlu/IST
Tel: 0212 292 79 34   Fax: 0212 292 79 39 

  • Hotmail, Windowslive, MSN (All Microsoft Sites): 

As stated above, these web services provide the desired traffic and IP info to our judicial authorities when one applies to their offices in Turkey (even if the case is not urgent).

Contact Info of Microsoft in Turkey:

Microsoft Corporation, Levent District, Aydın Street, No: 7 P.O. Box: 34240
Levent – IST     
      c) Twitter

They may ban the unfavorable content on the application of the user. However, they are not accepting the requests made by TİB to get the traffic and IP infos or to ban the unfavorable content.
They are not fulfilling our requests made directly by our authorities, therefore such a request must be done to the US government, instead.

They do not have a representative office in Turkey.
   
***Click the links below to access other parts…
   
I-
GENERAL INFORMATION
   
II-
PREPARATION OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL ROGATORY DOCUMENTS
   
III- MATTERS TO BE PAID ATTENTION IN PREPARING LEGAL ASSISTANCE REQUEST FOR CERTAIN CRIMES
   
IV- MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE CONCERNING EXECUTION OF DECISIONS ON SEIZURE AND CONFISCATION AND RECOVERY OF ASSETS
   
V- MATTERS TO BE PAID ATTENTION IN THE ROGATORY REQUESTS OF FOREIGN STATES
   
VI- OBTAINING INFORMATION ON REGISTRY, CRIMINAL RECORD, ADDRESS, ECONOMICAL/SOCIAL STATUS AND ENTRANCE TO-EXIT FROM THE COUNTRY
   
VII- RETURN OF PASSPORTS TO FOREIGNERS
   
VIII- NOTIFICATION OF DEATH EVENTS OF FOREIGNERS
   
 
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