International Convention on Cybercrime

The Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention which is also known as Budapest Convention on Cybercrime was opened for signature in 2001 and came into force in 2004. It is the sole legally binding international multilateral treaty on Cybercrime.

Key features:

i. This facilitates the detection, investigation and prosecution of crimes that are committed through internet and other computer systems.

ii. It operates on three dimensions:

a. Criminalises certain conducts;

b. Provides some procedural tools for states to follow; and

c. Places an obligation on the state for mutual cooperation in assisting with the investigation.

iii. It is further supplemented by an Additional Protocol which was adopted in 2003. This made the use of computer networks to publish xenophobic and racist propaganda, a punishable offence.

Offences which are criminalised:

 Illegal access (Article 2)

 Illegal interception (Article 3)

 Data interference (Article 4)

 System interference (Article 5)

 Misuse of devices (Article 6)

 Computer-related forgery (Article 7)

 Computer-related fraud (Article 8)

 Offences related to child pornography (Article 9)

 Offences related to infringements of copyright and related rights (Article 10)

 Attempt and aiding or abetting (Article 11)

Objectives of the convention:

i. To pursue a common criminal policy which aims towards protection of society against cybercrime;

ii. Build the capacity of nations to combat cybercrime;

iii. Function as a mutual information sharing channel so as to facilitate better enforcement of law;

iv. The Preamble of the Convention put an emphasis on the importance of maintaining a correct balance between the interest of enforcement of law and respect for fundamental human rights, specifically the right to carry opinions without interference, freedom of expression and therefore the rights concerning the respect for privacy.

Why India is not a signatory?

 Because it had not participated in the drafting of the treaty;

 Because it concerns about sharing of data with foreign law enforcement agencies as it infringes on national sovereignty; and

 Because the Mutual Legal Assistance regime of the convention is not effective

And so India decided not to be a signatory of the treaty.

Difference between cyber crime and traditional crime:-

    Basis of difference    Traditional Crime    Cybercrime  
NatureTraditional crimes occur in actual world.Cybercrimes occur in virtual world.
Geographical ProximityThe offender and the victim are geographically close.The offender and victims are not geographically close. An attack can take place from anywhere.
Offender-victim relationshipIn most of the cases the offender is familiar to the victim.It is not necessary that offender is familiar to the victim. The offender can choose his victim randomly.
AnonymityIt is hard for the offender to hide his/her identity.It is very easy for the offender to hide his/her identity.
Detection and riskTraditional Crimes can be easily detected and there is high risk that the offender shall be made vulnerable to criminal action.It is hard to detect a cybercrime and risk is low for the offender to be made vulnerable to criminal action as the identity is hidden.
KnowledgeThe offender, don’t need any particular knowledge of any thing. The offender may be or may not be trained.The offender is trained. He/she need to have a proper knowledge of internet or computer.

Aishwarya Says:

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