News of the large-scale bank fraud operation involving iSpoof will inevitably involve a repeat of many of the legal issues involved in the criminal prosecutions stemming from the takedown of EncroChat.
As with EncroChat, iSpoof’s servers, based in the Netherlands rather than in France, were targeted by Dutch authorities as part of a global law enforcement operation believed to also include UK authorities. Dutch law enforcement intercepted calls and it is already clear that this information has been shared with UK authorities, leading to over 100 arrests at the time of writing.
The manner in which the British authorities have dealt with their counterparts in the Netherlands and elsewhere will have important implications for the admissibility of evidence gathered abroad in this jurisdiction.
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal continues to be seized of a number of applications relating to the interception of communications from Encrochat. The similarities are already striking, but there are certainly differences in the way this latest takedown, apparently ultimately by the FBI, took place, not least through lessons learned in EncroChat.
This latest operation, and the continued coordination between law enforcement across jurisdictions leading to what will be another round of prosecutions with accompanying legal arguments relating to the interception of communications abroad, but with UK involvement, shows that EncroChat is not unique was not, but rather a foretaste of things to come.
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