[ISN] Cybercrime summit urges international cooperation

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Mon Sep 20 05:12:08 EDT 2004


By Dan Ilett 
Special to CNET News.com
September 18, 2004

European officials met Friday in a high-level push to persuade more
countries to sign up to an international effort combating cybercrime.

At a conference in Strasbourg, France, delegates from governments,
police forces and businesses around the world are meeting to discuss
the ratification of the Council of Europe's Cybercrime Convention. So
far 30 countries have signed the treaty, which aims to align
international law on cybercrime, but only eight have actually
implemented it in national law. The United Kingdom has signed the
convention, but has not yet ratified it. The treaty came into force in
July of this year.

Signatories include a number of countries outside of Europe, but the
treaty's international nature is proving to be a stumbling block. Some
governments are said to be wary of potentially being required to make
data on their citizens available to other governments. In 2002, the
United States announced it wouldn't adhere to the protocol, which it
says would be against its Constitution.

Cybercrime issues discussed at the conference are to include fraud,
copyright and child pornography.

There were an estimated 600 million Internet users in 2002, double the
number in 1999, according to a Council of Europe report. "Societies
need to be protected against cybercrime," the report said. "But there
must be freedom to use and develop information and communication
technologies properly, and a guarantee that people can be free to
express themselves."

The council noted that organized crime has become well-established in
cyberspace, using the Internet for human trafficking and other crimes.  
Research from the Internet Fraud Complaints Centre showed that
criminals caused between 150 billion euros ($182 billion) and 200
billion euros worth of damage in 2003.

On the flip side, international cybercrime law can make things
difficult for law-enforcement authorities, the council said. FBI
agents who used hacking techniques to find two hackers in Russia were
counter-charged with cybercrime offences, the council noted in its

Dan Ilett of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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