Latest Draft of UN Cybercrime Treaty Is A Big Step Backward

By Katitza Rodriguez

A new draft of the controversial United Nations cybercrime treaty has only heightened concerns that the treaty will criminalize expression and dissent, create extensive surveillance powers, and facilitate cross-border repression. 

The proposed treaty, originally aimed at combating cybercrime, has morphed into an expansive surveillance treaty, raising the risk of overreach in both national and international investigations. The new draft retains a controversial provision allowing states to compel engineers or employees to undermine security measures, posting a threat to encryption.  

This new draft not only disregards but also deepens our concerns, empowering nations to cast a wider net by accessing data stored by companies abroad, potentially in violation of other nations’ privacy laws. It perilously broadens its scope beyond the cybercrimes specifically defined in the Convention, encompassing a long list of non-cybercrimes. This draft retains the concerning issue of expanding the scope of evidence collection and sharing across borders for any serious crime, including those crimes that blatantly violate human rights law. Furthermore, this new version overreaches in investigating and prosecuting crimes beyond those detailed in the treaty; until now such power was limited to only the crimes defined in article 6-16 of the convention.  

We are deeply troubled by the blatant disregard of our input, which moves the text further away from consensus. This isn’t just an oversight; it’s a significant step in the wrong direction. 

Initiated in 2022, treaty negotiations have been marked by ongoing disagreements between governments on the treaty’s scope and on what role, if any, human rights should play in its design and implementation. The new draft was released Tuesday, Nov. 28; governments will hold closed-door talks December 19-20 in Vienna, in an attempt to reach consensus on what crimes to include in the treaty, and the draft will be considered at the final negotiating session in New York at the end of January 2024, when it’s supposed to be finalized and adopted.  

Deborah Brown, Human Rights Watch’s acting associate director for technology and human rights, said this latest draft “is primed to facilitate abuses on a global scale, through extensive cross border powers to investigate virtually any imaginable ‘crime’ – like peaceful dissent or expression of sexual orientation – while undermining the treaty’s purpose of addressing genuine cybercrime. Governments should not rush to conclude this treaty without ensuring that it elevates, rather than sacrifices, our fundamental rights.” 

Source: EFF

Katitza Rodriguez is EFF’s Policy Director for Global Privacy. She concentrates on comparative policy of global privacy issues, with special emphasis on emerging technology, augmented and virtual reality, and cross-border data flows. Katitza’s work also focuses on cybersecurity and government access to data held by the private sector at the intersection of international human rights law and standards. Katitza also supervises EFF’s growing Latin American team. She was an advisor to the UN Internet Governance Forum (2009-2010). KIn 2018, CNET named Katitza one of the 20 most influential Latinos in technology in the United States. In 2014, she was also named one of “The heroes in the fight to save the Internet.” Katitza also seats the board of Article19-Mexicana and Central-American office. 

Become a Patron!
Or support us at SubscribeStar
Donate cryptocurrency HERE

Subscribe to Activist Post for truth, peace, and freedom news. Follow us on SoMee, Telegram, HIVE, Minds, MeWe, Twitter – X, Gab, and What Really Happened.

Provide, Protect and Profit from what’s coming! Get a free issue of Counter Markets today.

Activist Post Daily Newsletter

Subscription is FREE and CONFIDENTIAL
Free Report: How To Survive The Job Automation Apocalypse with subscription

Be the first to comment on "Latest Draft of UN Cybercrime Treaty Is A Big Step Backward"

Leave a comment