The Boston-based Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) Thursday pledged its support for international efforts to share criminal and terrorist evidence with the formation of a technical committee that will design a universal XML framework for discovery and sharing of such information among law enforcement agencies.

Dubbed LegalXML Lawful Intercept (LI-XML), the specification is geared to support an end-to-end legal process in which law enforcement, justice and security agencies are the primary beneficiaries.

"As the ability for criminals and terrorists to access technology increases, the challenge for law enforcement to detect, comply with legal process, and implement evidence discovery tools also grows," said Anthony M. Rutkowski of VeriSign, chair of the OASIS LegalXML LI-XML Technical Committee. "Government agencies as well as providers of electronic communication services worldwide will benefit from uniform XML schema that facilitates fully electronic receipt, authentication, and implementation of lawful process."

The formation of the committee is a response to emerging national and intergovernmental mandates around the world, OASIS said, including the United States Homeland Security Information Sharing Act of 2002, the new Lawful Intercept additional protocol of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, and e-Government mandates in Europe and the United States.

Rutkowski said that LI-XML's enhanced precision, authentication and audit features will help government efforts in discovering and sharing criminal and terrorist information to garner greater public trust.

"LI-XML is the latest in a growing number of OASIS Technical Committees that address the needs of the public sector," said Karl Best, vice president of OASIS. "We are encouraged to see government agencies and representatives from around the globe joining OASIS to advance this effort, along with our e-Government, Tax XML and other LegalXML initiatives."