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Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime


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Concern over the compulsion of ISPs to intercept traffic, reveal account details and the like is currently a hot topic in Australian IT circles with proposed legislation potentially turning the industry into a bit of a minefield locally. But one little snippet from a recent report makes one realize it could be far worse:

Meanwhile, the Rudd government is still considering its position on the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime nearly 18 months after signalling it was ready to start talks on the widely accepted global framework.

An Attorney-General's Department spokesman said it was necessary to ensure that it was in Australia's "best interests to comply" with the convention, and consistent with domestic law.

"The fact Australia is not a signatory is not an impediment to the investigation of cybercrime across borders," he said.

"Alternative avenues exist for law enforcement to co-operate with their international counterparts, including under mutual assistance arrangements."

The Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime? Read all about it: http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/Commun/Q...=185&CL=ENG

OK, treaties aren't the same as law (except when it suits the government of the day) but still ... some pretty heavy-handed stuff. Still, if you have nothing to hide ... Hah!

Oh yes, signed and ratified by the United States of America and 'Entered into force' in the land of the free on Jan 1 2007. Also in force in 25 European countries. I confess this had all slipped under my radar until now. Maybe it's been mentioned before? I don't recall it.

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I'm now transnational, in Canada for the week. After 10 hours in the air or in airports, 'm too tired to read in detail, but when I skimmed the link to the policy it seemed rather general -- a lot of room for governments to do a lot of harmful and counterproductive stuff if they were so inclined.

Drawing on the CANSPAM experience, however, such blanket policies don't do very much if no one chooses to enforce them.

-- rick

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I'm now transnational, in Canada for the week. ...
No, no, you're supposed to be thinking about heading south this time of the year. Follow the geese Rick, follow the geese.
...After 10 hours in the air or in airports, 'm too tired to read in detail, but when I skimmed the link to the policy it seemed rather general -- a lot of room for governments to do a lot of harmful and counterproductive stuff if they were so inclined. ...
The USA, in particular, has nominated a raft of "reservations" to better match Federal law or to give precedence to other treaties and the like, which is good and proper but still ... conventions and treaties might be thought of as governance by stealth (by those with just a touch - or more - of paranoia). But we trust the Government. :D
...Drawing on the CANSPAM experience, however, such blanket policies don't do very much if no one chooses to enforce them.
CAN-Ð…PAM enforcement seems to be pretty much a non-event. But you wouldn't want to stake your liberty on it. The risk with inadequate enforcement is always going to be that of unequal and/or capricious application. We live in interesting times.

Enjoy your sojourn in Canada. I've been there a few times, loved it. But that was always in summer.

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And in another measure which should please the Europeans, ICANN becomes independent:

http://www.icann.org/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/172896/ican..._oversight.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8283310.stm

There seems to be a certain momentum gathering here. I guess it's all (or mostly) good, change is certainly in the air.

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No, no, you're supposed to be thinking about heading south this time of the year. Follow the geese Rick, follow the geese. Enjoy your sojourn in Canada. I've been there a few times, loved it. But that was always in summer.

Actually, here in Calgary, the weather has been exceptional. A bit nippy in the AM, but warming up nicely. I was outdoors all day walking around railroad yards etc. I was shocked to hear natives complaining about the cold, I thought it was me who was supposed to be doing that.

Anyway, heading back home tomorrow, G*d and United Airlines willing.

-- rick

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Concern over the compulsion of ISPs to intercept traffic, reveal account details and the like is currently a hot topic in Australian IT circles with proposed legislation potentially turning the industry into a bit of a minefield locally. ..... OK, treaties aren't the same as law (except when it suits the government of the day) but still ... some pretty heavy-handed stuff. Still, if you have nothing to hide ... Hah!

On the flip side, some of that 'teamwork' described at Alleged Romanian phishers (finally) hauled into US courts

Petru Bogdan Belbita, 25, of Craiova, Romania, was arrested in Montreal, Canada in January and formally extradited to the US late last week, prosecutors with the US Attorney in New Haven, Connecticut, said Tuesday. A separate defendant, Cornel Ionut Tonita, 28, of Galati, Romania, was arrested in Croatia in July and brought to the US earlier this month.

The two men and five other Romanians were charged in January 2007 with taking part in a sophisticated phishing scam that cost financial institutions at least $150,000.

Belbita, who sometimes went under the alias Robert Wilson, is also facing charges filed in Los Angeles federal court in a separate phishing case. According to an indictment filed in May 2008, he was caught possessing software tools for carrying out phishing attacks against Bank of America customers. In March 2007, he allegedly participated in a phishing attack that yielded some 206 responses from customers of an unnamed financial service.

The extraditions of Belbita and Tonita demonstrate the up-hill battle prosecutors face in bringing many cybercrooks to justice. Their remote locations, often in countries without strong treaties with the United States, means it can take months or years just to take custody of a defendant. And before that can happen, authorities first must build strong cases against the suspects.

Assistance in the case came from the FBI, Interpol, the Romanian National Police, the Croatian police, and Canadian police, among others.

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  • 4 months later...

One opening skirmish on the compulsion of ISPs has been resolved:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2010/24.html - whether or not iiNet was obliged to act on the basis of allegations of piracy on the part of its customers made by a third party. Evidence of piracy accepted, ISPs obligation not shown in law - but obligation only just skirted, ISP immunity in Oz is a fragile thing.

Is this open slather now for those who would bleed Hollywood dry? One analysis (not terribly sympathetic):

http://www.itwire.com/telecommunications-n...egulation/36529 - "there will be no new flood; the majority of people know it is illegal and will continue to obey the law." Well, hopefully, certainly the studios attempt at (what was apparently an ex-legal solution to compel the ISPs to be judge, jury and executioner) cannot be countenanced. But 'the law' is changeable, as itwire has noted:

http://www.itwire.com/information-technolo...-battle-is-acta - where trade agreements and other international treaties meet national law.

And national law is, itself, a mutable thing:

http://www.itwire.com/telecommunications-n...examine-iitrial - the minister revealed himself to be less than impartial long ago. But then it's not his job to be impartial - he is however expected to be 'right' about 51% of the time. Yeah, something has to be done about piracy/copyright infringement - but solutions should take care not to elevate corporate rights to the detriment of those of the individual. We've seen enough of that I think.

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