UK finally ratifies the convention on cybercrime

Today’s communique on UK-US co-operation on Cyberspace, see below for fulltext, includes the news that UK has finally ratified the convention on cybercrime. There are three views on this.

1) This is a long overdue of an obstacle to UK-based co-operation against on-line predators and shows 

2) It is a meaningless gesture unless backed up by serious resource 

3) The convention is flawed and needs updating.

I happen to share the first view – but fear the second view may turn out to be correct – unless industry (telcos, ISPs, payment and transaction services, on-line retailers etc.) use the opportunity to take the lead in organising co-operation to “remove” those who are attacking them and their customers.  

I’d very much welcome readers views.     

Read on for the full text:

Wednesday 25 May 2011
UK-US Co-operation on Cyberspace

Today, President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirmed their close bilateral co-operation, and charted important new steps forward, on an area of increasing attention: cyberspace issues, particularly cybersecurity.

A shared vision for cyberspace’s future.  Leaders noted that networked technology now provides one of the essential foundations for opportunities and growth within any modern prosperous global economy, and outlined their shared vision for cyberspace which places at its heart fundamental freedoms of speech and association, individual privacy, and the free flow of information.

Building consensus on responsible behaviour.  Both recognised that the same kinds of ‘rules of the road’ that help maintain peace, security, and respect for individual rights internationally must equally apply in cyberspace.  Leaders’ highlighted their commitment to building consensus on the basic principles, and participating in the London International Cyber Conference in November 2011.

Protecting our citizens and building the rule of law.  Through its deposit of instruments of accession in Strasbourg today, the United Kingdom has now joined the US and 30 other states as parties to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, the world’s foremost treaty to combat cybercrime internationally.  The Convention sets standards for national laws in dealing with online fraud and abuse, but even more importantly permits effective cooperation between nations — a crucial tool since so many cybercrime cross national boundaries.  Noting this landmark achievement, leaders’ agreed to continue work to expand the reach of this important treaty.

Partnering with industry to win the future.  In recent months, President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron each hosted milestone discussions with leaders from their respective technology industries.  These innovators help spur the investment and long-term job growth on which economies depend; noting their contribution, the Prime Minister and President Obama will continue to find ways to join with industry to maintain national competitiveness.

Expanding the reach of networked technologies.  The US and UK are committed to partnering to help more countries benefit from information and communications technologies.  Leaders’ will direct new and regular government-wide consultations, sharing strategies and plans to more effectively deploy resources in building technological capacity in the developing world.

Sharing a responsibility for cybersecurity.  Leaders’ concluded by noting the relationship on cybersecurity issues remains deeper than ever; that both nations benefit from a shared awareness of threats to national networks, share measures to better defend them.  To maintain that leadership and better confront tomorrow’s threats, the President and Prime Minister noted new trans-Atlantic initiatives to provide joint funding and review of cybersecurity research and development (R&D) projects.