One important cyber development was notably absent from IGF discussions.
In early November, a resolution on “Countering the Use of Information and Communication Technologies for Criminal Purposes” passed in the UN’s Third Committee, with 88 votes for and 58 against (and 34 abstentions). It calls for the establishment of an ad-hoc intergovernmental committee to draft a new legal instrument on cybercrime, and will be voted on in mid-December. If (as expected) it does pass, the committee will be ready to start work in August next year.
This should concern all human rights defenders. The resolution calls for the drafting of an instrument that would likely cover a much broader range of issues than those in the Budapest Convention. As well as extending state control over online activities—including those currently protected under international human rights law—such an instrument could make cross-border responses to cybercrime less effective, as we argued in a joint civil society letter on the resolution. We’ll be following this development closely in The Digest.
- GPD’s cyber team was in New York last week for the intersessional meeting of the UNGA First Committee Open-ended Working Group. We’ll be sending round an update on that (as well as the December meetings of the Group of Governmental Experts) shortly.
- We’ve published a new brief unpacking the UN GGE’s framework on responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, focused on confidence building measures. Read it here.