Time is Running Out For Free Speech and Privacy Revisions on Flawed UN Cybercrime Convention

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been involved in the process of drafting the UN Cybercrime Convention in a bid to improve it from the point of view of free speech and privacy (though questioning the treaty’s necessity in the first place.)

The recent take regarding the latest in a series of drafts – of which it has been consistently critical – is that it is simply too flawed to be adopted without significant changes. Countries sometimes having irreconcilably different opinions on key issues regarding the convention’s scope is cited as a reason for EFF’s stance.

But time is running out for the major changes urged here to actually happen, as the concluding session will be held from late July until August 9, after 2.5 years of discussions and as many as seven negotiating sessions. The ultimate decision to adopt or reject the document will be made by the UN General Assembly.

Though symptomatic of the rift within the UN on the issue, the fact that participants in these discussions have not yet even settled on the name for the treaty is the least of its problems; the crucial one is its scope, or, an EFF blog post put it: “Should it address only core cybercrime, or any crime committed using technology?”

Sunset over UN building by Daryan Shamkhali is licensed under Unsplash unsplash.com

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