Internet Governance

Cybercrime Convention

I attended yesterday afternoon the Workshop 23 – Cybercrime – common standards and joint action and I didn`t feel very comfortable about the fact that all panelists shared the same views and the same ideas regarding the Convention of Cybercrime. I don`t mean that they aren’t right (the speakers were really great and they are indeed experts in this field), but I have a feeling that IGF should be the place that we dialogue and If all the speakers share the same idea, there are little space to divergence and the dialogue about different people, countries, continents, ideas, roles and backgrounds is what IGF is all about.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the theme, The Cybercrime Convention is a 2001 treaty from the Council of Europe that was signed and ratified by its countries (not all signed and 13 of the ones that signed didn’t ratified), but also signed or other 4 observers members: US, Canada, Japan and South Africa (ratified only by US) that is available to accession by non-member states.

This is the only biding legal international framework to address cybercrime. It is a great initiative, but the problem is that very few non-members participated in the negotiation and now it is promoted, in my opinion, as the only instrument. So now the states that didn’t discussed are strongly advice to sign and ratify it.

I asked in the workshop if it was the time to all states to negotiate a new instrument and the answers were mainly two: the long amount of time that it can take and the risk that it will stop national process to develop cybercrime legislation. I still think is a valid discussion.