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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Essay on International Agreements against Cybercrimes

There are a number of agreements that purport to deal with cybercrimes. These international agreements are manifestations of the global community’s response to the global challenge of cybercrime. One of these agreements is the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. While it does not directly state that cybercrime is included within its scope, in view of the transnational nature of organized crime and its close association with organized crime, the UNTOC may be referred to as basis for prosecution since cybercrime is covered in this agreement by implication.

Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention
Another agreement is the Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention. The Cybercrime Convention was signed in 2001 by the United States and 29 other countries in Budapest, Hungary.  The multilateral treaty which took effect in July 2004 was the first treaty signed to address the growing problem of cybercrime. The main goal of the Cybercrime Convention is to provide for a common criminal policy by harmonizing national laws with the aim of protecting the society against cybercrime. (Henrik W.K. Kaspersen, 2009)

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At the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks dealing with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and other violations of network security, it commits signatories to prosecute the violators of computer-related crimes with a firm resolve.  It is the goal of the signatories to the treaty to end the cybercriminals’ feeling of invincibility by requiring sanctions and making cybercrimes and other computer-related crimes an extraditable offense and by reducing the number of countries that the cybercriminals can avoid prosecution.

The United States was one of the thirty (30) counties that signed the Convention on November 23, 2001 in Budapest.  The United States also ratified the Convention on August 3, 2006.  As of 2006, there have been forty three (43) countries that signed on the Convention. 

Towards this end, the contracting parties to the treaty are required to define criminal offenses and sanctions under their own domestic laws for the four categories of computer-related crimes such as fraud and forgery, child pornography, copyright infringements and security breaches. The treaty also requires the signatories to establish domestic procedures for detecting, investigating and prosecuting computer crimes and collecting electronic evidence and to establish a rapid and effective system of international cooperation.

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