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Cyber Convention Check-in | Global Initiative | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


On 29 February 2024, the concluding session of the Ad Hoc Committee negotiating a new United Nations cybercrime convention begins its work. By 9 February, the committee is mandated to deliver a draft convention to the UN General Assembly.

If you have been following this process, you will already know that states are starting this concluding session a long having reached consensus around the proposed new treaty. At this point, it is difficult to predict what will happen over the two-week session at the UN. But we do know that it will be complex, tense and . And the stakes could not be higher.

The GI-TOC will be present, following the session closely, and will report on the proceedings in this CCC newsletter, to keep you up to date about developments. To automatically receive our regular updates in your inbox throughout the concluding session of the committee, sign up to our UN engagement mailing list.


#1: The Final Countdown [26 January 2024]

Background

There is no doubt that the internet, and technological advances in general, have supercharged transnational organized crime in recent decades, causing myriad harms and enabling perpetrators to work more easily across borders and evade justice. At the same time, repressive regimes have armed themselves with ‘cybercrime’ legislation to repress opposition voices, journalists, civil society and others, for carrying out activities that should not be considered crimes.

It is in this context that these negotiations are happening – even though there has never been consensus on whether this convention is needed. The committee was born out of the polarized positions of member states – its creation had to be voted on, as states could not reach an agreement on whether a convention was needed – unlike the consensus-based negotiation that delivered the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the UN Convention Against Corruption. Moreover the range of issues under negotiation go far beyond what one could understand as ‘cybercrime’. Even the word ‘cybercrime’, and what constitutes a cybercrime, have not yet been agreed among states.

The outcome of the negotiation may well will have an unprecedented impact on human rights (including digital rights), privacy, data protection and a range of other issues of relevance to us all. It also affects the role of the United Nations, in a highly fragile and fragmented geopolitical context.

The GI-TOC has provided regular analysis on the negotiations since the committee began its work in 2021. Our latest brief provides an overview of what is being discussed, and what might emerge at the last session. Read the brief here: https://globalinitiative.net/analysis/united-nations-cybercrime-negotiations-final-phase/

In that report, we set out the various possible conclusions that the negotiating committee could come to: will it adopt a treaty that resembles the Council of Europe Budapest Convention? Will it adopt something in the mould of the draft convention submitted earlier by Russia and its allies? Will states agree to something that sits midway between those two very different visions? Will there be a vote? Will they be able to make any decision at all? Could they extend the negotiations?

There are many possible scenarios. Find out what is happening at the UN session by following our Cyber Convention Check-in. We will keep our eyes and ears to the ground to give you the latest news, in your inbox, throughout the proceedings.


Stay informed with regular updates on this page until February 9, 2024. Sign up to our UN engagement mailing list to receive the Cyber Convention Check-in in your inbox.

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