Conclusion on UNODC: Open Ended Expert Group on Cybercrime

I told you that I will attend the UNODC: Open Ended Expert Group on Cybercrime, which is now slowly coming to an end. Let me draw a few conclusions on the meeting.

It was not the first UN meeting I attended and – depending on the audience – the discussion can easily result an long political debates, which hardly lead to direct results. I guess that these debates are important and necessary to get people on board but I am neither a diplomat nor a politician Smile.

The participants came from all across the different UN countries, academia, a few inter-governmental organizations like Council of Europe, OSCE, EU and the private sector – which leads me to the first real complaint: I know that UNODC invited an extensive list of private sector companies but it seems that the interest to work with governments and the UN on constructive solutions is not really existing if not direct business is involved. The private sector was represented only by Microsoft.

My key and high-level conclusions listening to the debates are:

  • There was a great willingness expressed by the delegations to cooperate combating cybercrime
  • This collaboration is needed and is probably one of the most important and most pressing issue
  • The collaboration has to be not only between countries but between the public and the private sector as well
  • Legislation has to be harmonized at least on a level which allows this collaboration
  • Cybercrime has to be criminalized all across the whole chain

And now my conclusion: We need pragmatic solutions as if there is really the intent to either redesign the Budapest Convention by the Council of Europe or even develop a new convention, this will simply take way too long (some people were talking of 2020). We cannot wait that long! It will only serve the criminals and the private sector needs a certain level of stability and safety how the law will be applied and that laws in different countries are not contradicting


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