UN Committee passes the resolution towards developing an international convention against cybercrime

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly has passed (88-58, with 34 abstentions) the resolution on countering the use of ICT for criminal purposes, proposed by Russia and 26 other countries. The resolution proposes the establishment of an open-ended ad hoc intergovernmental committee of experts from all regions, tasked meet in August 2020 to elaborate a comprehensive international convention to combat cybercrime. This resolution builds up on a draft convention on countering cybercrime proposed by Russia in 2017, which intends to suppress or replace the widely accepted and implemented international agreement – the Council of Europe Budapest Convention of 2001. The draft convention lists various crimes – including hacking, presents options of international cooperation, proposes a contact and support center for investigation, calls for holding regular conferences under the UN and the set-up of a permanent international commission on the technical means for combating crime. General Assembly will vote on the resolution in December. In an open letter to UN General Assembly, 36 human rights group around the world warn that the proposed draft convention could undermine the use of the internet to exercise human rights and facilitate social and economic development, as it could give power to governments to block websites and services based on political grounds, and invite countries to vote against the resolution which poses a threat to human rights online.