As governments convene to discuss the UN Cybercrime Treaty, Google is urging caution, warning that the current draft could endanger online security and free expression.
While acknowledging the need to combat cybercrime, Google’s Vice President of Privacy, Royal Hansen, expressed concern about the treaty’s potential impact on user privacy and the work of cybersecurity professionals.
Hansen stressed the importance of a framework that respects human rights, including free expression, and avoids criminalizing legitimate security research. He called for “critical guardrails and protections” to prevent the treaty from being misused for oppressive purposes.
The call echoes concerns from civil society groups, who have criticized the treaty’s potential to facilitate surveillance and restrict online speech. With negotiations ongoing, it remains to be seen whether revisions will address these concerns before the treaty is finalized.
What’s next: Negotiations are expected to continue throughout 2024. The outcome remains uncertain, with concerns from Google and civil society groups demanding attention.