Privacy International’s Briefing on the Draft Text of the UN Cybercrime Convention

In this briefing Privacy International outlines its analysis of some key provisions on the draft text of the UN Cybercrime Convention, with the aim to provide delegations of Member States and other stakeholders with our recommendations to strengthen the draft and bring it into line with human rights law. This briefing builds upon the submissions made by PI at the previous sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee and reflects upon some of the amendments proposed by Member States. While not aiming to be comprehensive, it covers in particular the following Articles: 2, 3, 5, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 35, 36, 47 and 54.

Key advocacy points

While we recognise the threats posed by cybercrime, we remain deeply concerned about certain provisions in the current draft and how these might be misused to undermine human rights. These concerns are shared by UN independent human rights experts and non- governmental organizations who have reported on the abuse of cybercrime laws. PI wishes to emphasise the need both for a narrow scope for the proposed Convention, focusing solely on core cyber-dependent crimes, as well as for safeguards throughout the entire treaty to ensure human rights are protected, especially in the areas of privacy and freedom of expression. Additionally, we are worried about the potential misuse of provisions relating to surveillance and data collection, and call for stringent safeguards to prevent abuse. We urge States to ensure that the treaty does not become a tool for governments with a poor human rights record to justify human rights abuses under the guise of combating cybercrime.