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U.S. Senate ratifies international treaty on cybercrime


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The U.S. Senate ratified the Council of Europe's Convention on Cyber Crime, the first multinational, multilateral treaty to require cooperation among law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of computer network crimes. The treaty has more than 40 signatory nations, including Canada, Japan, South Africa, the United States and the countries of Europe, and was supported by, among others, the Information Technology Association of America, the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, and the Business Software Alliance (BSA).

 

The Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, and deals particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child **inappropriate material**ography and violations of network security. Its stated main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation.

 

The Convention also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception. Additionally, it has been supplemented by an Additional Protocol intended to make any publication of racist and xenophobic propaganda via computer networks a criminal offence.

 

The Council of Europe's own summary of the Convention on Cybercrime reads as follows:

 

The Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child **inappropriate material**ography and violations of network security. It also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception.

 

Its main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation.

 

The Convention is the product of four years of work by Council of Europe experts, but also by the United States, Canada, Japan and other countries which are not members of the Organisation. It has been supplemented by an Additional Protocol making any publication of racist and xenophobic propaganda via computer networks a criminal offence.

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