Negotiations on treaty vs cybercrime still ongoing

Pia Lee-Brago - The Philippine Star
Negotiations on treaty vs cybercrime still ongoing
his photo shows a person in a hoodie in front of a computer.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Five years have passed, and yet negotiations are still ongoing for a legally binding international treaty to counter cybercrime as parties are unable to reach an acceptable consensus.

Access Now, one of the non-government organizations taking part in the negotiations, reported that the latest meeting this month at the UN headquarters in New York did not conclude with an agreed draft as countries were unable to agree on the wordings that would balance human rights safeguards and security concerns.

It emphasized that a global cybercrime treaty should be a delicate balance between security and human rights.

Raman Jit Singh Chima, Access Now senior international counsel and Asia Pacific policy director, said the treaty needs to address “core cybercrime” or those crimes that are possible only through a computer and are sometimes called “cyber dependent” crimes, such as hacking into computer systems.

“Clearly, these should be criminalized by states, with clear provisions put in place enabling governments across the world to cooperate with each other,” Chima said.

“When it comes to law enforcement agencies cooperating on this treaty, we need to put strong human rights standards in place, because that provides trust and confidence in the process,” he added.

Chima also said that a broad treaty with no safeguards could end up being challenged, not only by human rights advocates and impacted communities, but by governments themselves.

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