Cybercrime Ad Hoc Committee Consolidated Negotiating Document

In preparation for the fourth session, the Committee Chair, with the support of the Secretariat, has prepared a ‘Consolidated negotiating document on the general provisions and the provisions on criminalization and on procedural measures and law enforcement of a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.’ Essentially, the document is a compilation of the states’ proposals during the second session regarding the general provisions, criminalisation, procedural measures, and law enforcement of the draft convention. Regarding the general provisions, the document emphasizes the protection of sovereignty, while most states agreed that the ‘use of terms’ shall be addressed after defining the substantive articles.

Criminalisation provisions cover offences such as illegal access, misuse of devices, and computer-related forgery, among others, while also including offences related to online child sexual abuse. Additionally, the document expands the criminalisation of offences, including but not limited to the incitement of armed activities, terrorism-related offences, and illegal distribution of medicines.

Provisions on procedural measures and law enforcement establish the jurisdiction over the offences that occurred in the territory of a state party, committed by or against a national of the state party, or committed against the state party. The article on jurisdiction ‘does not exclude the exercise of any criminal jurisdiction established by a State Party in accordance with its domestic law.’ Attention was also given to the search and seizure of electronic data, in which states are obliged to adopt measures that empower the competent authorities to search or seize computer data and digital information ‘where there is reasonable belief that a criminal offence was committed or is being committed… in the territory or under the jurisdiction of that State Party.’

Lastly, the consolidated document established that the implementation of the powers and procedures should be in line with international human rights law provisions, while highlighting the need to ensure witness protection.