Computer Crime Research Center


The first cybercime treaty

Date: July 27, 2005
Source: ZDNet Australia
By: Declan McCullagh

A U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday approved the world's first treaty targeting "cybercrime," clearing the way for a floor vote later this year.

All nine members of the Foreign Relations Committee who were present said by voice vote that they broadly agreed with the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, handing a hard-won victory to software companies that are eager for the U.S. to ratify it.

Because U.S. law already includes much of what the treaty requires, the Senate's consent would be largely symbolic. The document requires nations to adopt laws governing search and seizure of stored data, surreptitious Internet wiretapping, cross-border assistance, and retention of Internet provider records upon police demand.

But during a brief discussion on Tuesday, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., stressed that "there are some questions being raised" by civil libertarians that deserve to be noted.

"They're not illegitimate issues," Dodd said. "I just bring that point up and include those questions in the record."

The Electronic Privacy Information Center has sent a letter to the Foreign Relations Committee saying the treaty should not be ratified because it "would create invasive investigative techniques while failing to provide meaningful privacy and civil liberties safeguards."

Software companies, on the other hand, had dispatched their lobbyists to twist arms on Capitol Hill in favor of ratification. "We have been pushing this treaty from the beginning of this year pretty hard," Robert Cresanti, vice president for public policy at the Business Software Alliance, said after the vote.

"What I've been saying is that it applies justice to a borderless world where cybercriminals operate with little or no consequence," Cresanti said.

One reason why software companies are so interested is that the treaty includes stiff copyright-related penalties. It says participating nations must enact criminal laws targeting Internet piracy and circumvention devices--that is, a measure akin to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act--when acts "are committed willfully, on a commercial scale and by means of a computer system."
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2007-02-26 03:07:56 - The information I found here was rather... uomo
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