Conflict over proposed United Nations cybercrime treaty


Conflict over proposed United Nations cybercrime treaty

Mark Ballard

The United Nations will decide this week whether to draft a treaty on cybercrime.

The Russia-backed proposal has gained support from developing countries who want to have influence over international cyber law.

China also lent its support.

The US and UK instead back the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime. They fear UN negotiations would derail progress made updating statutes around the world with legislation based on the Budapest model.

Prosecutors rely on the convention to secure electronic evidence against criminals operating across borders.

Since the convention was introduced by the Council of Europe in 2001, it has been ratified or signed by 46 countries, including four outside Europe. A further 120 countries have sought the Council of Europe's advice in drafting cyber legislation.

The UN proposal last came up in 2005, when it was vetoed by the US, UK and other countries behind the Budapest Convention. The matter will be settled on Monday 19 April.

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