GPD inputs into continuing negotiations at the Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime

9 Jan 2023

GPD has inputted into ongoing negotiations at the UN Third Committee’s Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime (AHC) around a possible convention on cybercrime. 

The fourth session of the AHC (9-20 January)—currently underway—will discuss a first draft of the convention, covering the chapters on criminalisation, procedural measures and law enforcement, and the general provisions. 

In our input, we highlight a number of ways that the current draft of these chapters poses risks to human rights, particularly freedom of expression and privacy, and make several recommendations:

  • The treaty should narrowly focus on the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of core cybercrimes—criminal offences where ICT systems are the direct objects, as well as instruments, of the crimes. (Should non-core cybercrimes be included, we urge that they reflect international consensus, and be narrowly defined and strictly consistent with international human rights law standards)
  • Procedural and investigative powers should only apply to core cybercrimes
  • The various content-related offences provided in the draft should be removed, due to the risks they pose to freedom of expression
  • Human rights safeguards should be strengthened across the text
  • We also suggest a range of concrete measures to ensure an open, inclusive and transparent process, with meaningful opportunities for multistakeholder engagement

Alongside this individual GPD input, we have also contributed to a joint letter with 77 other civil society organisations in more than 45 countries, highlighting a range of shared concerns about the risks the current draft poses to the exercise and enjoyment of human rights.

We’ll be providing on the ground updates and analysis on the progress of the fourth session on our Twitter and LinkedIn; as well as a more substantial update in the next issue of our monthly newsletter

The fifth session of the AHC, scheduled for 11-21 April 2023, will focus on the chapters on international cooperation, preventive measures, technical assistance and the mechanism of implementation, and the final provisions. A similar consultation will be held for that session, which we’ll also be engaging in; stay posted for further updates.