Tenth anniversary of the Convention on Cybercrime
At a conference in Strasbourg marking the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Cybercrime, numerous government representatives called for more countries to sign the agreement that is also known simply as the Budapest Convention. On 23 November 2001, 25 of the Council of Europe's 47 member states and four non-members signed the Convention on Cybercrime.
Dutch legal expert Henrik Kaspersen, who is considered one of the founding fathers of the Convention on Cybercrime, suggested that topics such as government hacking or botnet tools for government investigators should not be excluded from discussions. Kaspersen said that heated arguments about the use of such tools by public prosecutors are already ongoing in several countries. However, he added that one shouldn't forget that such measures can also have implications for other countries. Kaspersen said that potentially cross-border hacks must be based on an agreement between states.
However, the Council of Europe's Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, said that negotiating a new international instrument that goes beyond the current Convention on Cybercrime is a challenging task. Attempts to negotiate a global instrument at United Nations level are still in their infancy even after ten years.
The Convention on Cybercrime's first decade wasn't an easy one. Many of the signatory countries have been slow to implement and ratify the Convention as national law. The UK ratified the Convention just before the anniversary on 1 September. Reinhard Priebe of the European Commission's Directorate General for Home Affairs pointed out that reminders have already been sent out to the nine member countries that haven't ratified yet.
Of the four members who are not part of the Council of Europe, three (Japan, South Africa and Canada) are also still working to implement the Convention, which has so far only been ratified by the US. The Australian Attorney General, Robert McClelland, announced that Australia plans to join the Convention in the coming year. McClelland pointed out various individual aspects that have been criticised by Australian politicians, for example the Convention's lack of a data retention directive. Other potential new Convention members that may soon join and contribute their own ideas include Argentina, Senegal and the Philippines.
(Monika Ermert / crve)