The UN cybercrime convention: Implementing a treaty and managing risks

Reflecting on the new draft text of the convention, this discussion considers the risks a new cybercrime treaty might pose and how can they be mitigated.

Research event, Panel Recording
6 December 2023 — 12:00PM TO 1:30PM

Event recording

A panel explores the new treaty’s potential to positively impact the global fight against cybercrime.

Since 2022, UN member states have convened six times to negotiate a treaty on cybercrime. This new treaty holds the potential to positively impact the global fight against cybercrime, driving regulatory harmonization efforts, streamlining international cooperation, and improving investigative techniques.

However, from the outset, these negotiations have been marked by disagreements. Member states are at odds over the scope of crimes to be included, the extent of international cooperation, the protection of human rights, and other contentious issues. In recent UN sessions, member states have pushed back against the initial draft and reintroduced numerous controversial elements, highlighting the difficulty in finding compromise solutions.

These disagreements are grounded in real and present risks posed by the potential convention. Streamlining international cooperation could present human rights risks, investigative techniques might be susceptible to misuse, and a broad scope of criminalization could expand the treaty beyond pure cybercrimes. Solutions to prevent the treaty from becoming a source of risk have been identified and consistently emphasized by the multi-stakeholder community.

As the treaty process nears its conclusion, a panel of experts explores how member states can ensure these risks remain at the forefront and, more importantly, how they can be minimized.

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