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Date: 2000-12-13

Cyber-Crime: GILC Aufschlag II

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Der nächste Anlauf gegen einen der unverschämtesten IT-
Vertragsentwürfe seit dem [US] Communications Decency
Amendment anno 1996 ist öffentlich.

Wir wünschen der Kritik eine recht hohe Verbreitung in den
Medien & insbesonders im Bereich der so genannten IT &
Telekom-Wirtschaft, die sich neuerdings & immer mal wieder
"Business Community" nennt.

Zwischen dem Dealen, Schachern, Zocken & sonstiger
Produktivität empfiehlt es sich, auch hie und da zu gucken,
ob sich strategisch nicht veritable Geschäfts/hinder/nisse an
die Wände menetekeln.

Die da wurden entworfen von einer Allianz aus gesetzlich
ermächtigten Behörden & ermächtigenden Juristen &
anderen Bürokraten, aus analogen Lobby/isten & allerhand
Verbindungsleuten zu allerhänderen Diensten. Allesamt
ehrenwerte Mitglieder ihrer jeweiligen Gesellschaft & dort in
leitender Position.

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Global Internet Liberty Campaign Member Letter on Council
of Europe Convention on Cyber-Crime Version 24.2

December 12, 2000

Dear Council of Europe Secretary General Walter
Schwimmer and COE Committee of Experts on Cyber Crime,

On October 18, 2000 we wrote a letter on behalf of a wide
range of civil society organizations to indicate our opposition
to the proposed Convention on Cyber-Crime. In that letter we
raised our opposition to issues surrounding criminalisation of
tools, the issue of liability, sanctions on copyright, enhancing
mutual legal assistance, and increased investigative powers.
We argued that version 22 of the convention represented the
interests of law enforcement, and lacked accountability. As a
result, its lack of consideration towards civil liberties was

To our dismay and alarm, the convention continues to be a
document that threatens the rights of the individual while
extending the powers of police authorities, creates a low-
barrier protection of rights uniformly across borders, and
ignores highly-regarded data protection principles.

Although some changes have been made in version 24-2, we
remain dissatisfied with the substance of the convention. The
convention subcommittee did give our previous letter
attention, but we maintain that protections of individual rights
have not been attended to adequately. We question the
validity of the process that still endures a closed environment
and secrecy. As a result, we are following up with this
subsequent letter to reiterate our past concerns, address
some of the changes, and shed more light on a subset of
these concerns.

Exceptions indicate a larger problem

One thematic shift in the convention is the increased number
of exceptions and caveats in the current draft. While, these
exceptions are still quite weak, it appears as though there is
rising concern within the CoE as to the powers granted within
the convention.

The effect of the deletion of Article 37.2 (from version 22), that
once limited the amount of flexibility signatory states are
allowed to exercise, appears as though there is an arising
opposition among the drafters and plenary member states
over this issue. In Section 2 on Investigative Techniques,
article 14.2 was added to assure "adequate protection of
human rights and, where applicable, the proportionality of the
measures to the nature and circumstances of the offence."
While the CoE considered allowing signatory states to
restrict the situations for using the new investigatory powers,
even from using them in the crimes established in the
convention, this was not included in version 24-2. The
convention still promotes use of invasive techniques for any
crime, except the use of interception, which according to
21.1 can only be used for "serious offences to be determined
by domestic law". Even this limitation serves little effect, for
the definition of serious crime is left to domestic law, and
some countries in the CoE have an extremely broad definition
of serious crime for content interception purposes. An
additional exception was appended to Articles 29 and 30, for
consistency with a previous article, that a signatory state
may refuse mutual assistance to pursue an offence only if
the state in question considers the offence to be political.
Despite that this option existed in another article in version
22, and is consistent with previous
CoE documents, it does appear that the CoE is aware of the
differences in regimes and qualitative nature of 'offences' in
the prospective-signatory states. This exception arises
because of the failure to require dual-criminality. The addition
of sub-article 35(bis).4 states that a transferring party may
require the receiving party to explain the use made of
information that is shared between states. This after-the-fact
reporting is desirable, but not sufficient. The interests of
proportionality and specificity must also be addressed in
requirements applicable to the initial requests for assistance,
sufficient to allow the requested party to verify the reason for
the investigation by the requesting party. When a state
makes such 'reservations', article 43 contains new sub-
articles to place pressure on these states to conform to the
full powers of the convention. Subarticle 43.2 claims that
signatory states are expected to withdraw reservations "as
soon as circumstances permit", while subarticle 43.3 allows
the Secretary General to approach these states periodically
to discuss the withdrawal of their reservations. The CoE
appears to assume that human rights are negotiable,


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published on: 2000-12-13
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