Council of Europe signs draft cybercrime treaty

The blueprint for a global code on cybercrime was agreed on in Strasbourg, France, Friday, paving the way for international rules governing online copyright infringement, online fraud, child pornography and hacking.

The blueprint for a global code on cybercrime was agreed on in Strasbourg, France, Friday, paving the way for international rules governing online copyright infringement, online fraud, child pornography and hacking.

The 41 members of the Council of Europe (CoE), plus the U.S., Canada and Japan, signed on to a draft convention on cybercrime that is set to be rubber-stamped at ministerial level in September.

"Once adopted, the Convention will be the first international treaty on criminal offenses committed through the use of Internet and other computer networks," the Council of Europe said in a statement.

The Convention contains a range of procedural powers, including search of computer systems and interception. Its main objective is to pursue "a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international cooperation," the Council of Europe said.

The draft treaty itself will only be available to the public in a week's time, the CoE said.

The decision to move on the draft has been criticized by representatives of Europe's Internet service provider community, however.

"We hope it has changed significantly from the last version of the text we saw," said Jo McNamee, director general of the trade association EuroISPA.

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