Computer Crime Research Center


U.S. Considering Ratifying Cybercrime Treaty

Date: April 27, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Dmitri Kramarenko

The Register writes "US defends cybercrime treaty". The U.S. has already signed the treaty, but it has not yet been ratified by the Senate (although President Bush has written a letter urging the treaty's passage).

This treaty, among other items, would require the U.S. to "cooperate with foreign authorities" in conducting surveillance on American citizens who have committed no crime under U.S. law, but may have broken another country's law (selling historic Nazi posters on Ebay?

Germany might have you wiretapped), prohibiting the "production, sale or distribution of hacking tools", whatever that means (would Nmap be illegal?) and require the U.S. to pass laws to "force users to provide their encryption keys" and the plain text of their encrypted files. Canada is a signatory as well."

That worries civil libertarians. The treaty is open to any country, with the approval of those that have already ratified it, and some fear that it could put the United States' surveillance capabilities at the disposal of foreign governments with poor human rights records, who may be investigating actions that are not considered crimes elsewhere.

"There is no requirement that the act that is being investigated be a crime both in a nation that is asking for assistance, and the nation that is providing assistance," said the ACLU's Barry Steinhardt, speaking at the Computers Freedom and Privacy Conference in Berkeley, California on Thursday. The US and other countries will be asked to use the electronic snooping powers mandated by the treaty to track political dissidents, he said.
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2004-04-28 18:59:19 - So, this will allow us to see encrypted... buz
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