Cyber Security Industry Alliance Newsletter •  Volume 3, Number 1  • September 2006

The Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime Ratified

Fast Track Treaty Enables International Cooperation in Combating Computer Network Crimes


On Thursday, August 3, the Senate ratified the Convention on Cybercrime adopted through the Council of Europe. The Convention was signed by the United States in November 2001, and is the first and only international, multilateral treaty specifically addressing the need for cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of computer network crimes. It requires global law enforcement cooperation with respect to searches and seizures and provides timely extradition for computer network based crimes covered under the treaty.

While many of us felt a two-year ratification period was much too long, in fact, the Convention on Cybercrime was pushed through in near record speed. To put the process in context, consider the ratification timetable for some other international conventions:


"Today marks an important milestone in the fight against international cybercrime. Through its support of the cybercrime treaty, the U.S. is strengthening international laws and empowering law enforcement authorities to protect our information-based systems," said Paul Kurtz, executive director of CSIA.

"National borders are virtually irrelevant to cybercriminals, making global cooperation absolutely critical in the battle against Internet-related crime. The cybercrime treaty provides a much-needed international framework to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of computer crimes that cross our border."

Ratification of the Convention on Cybercrime minimizes the barriers to international cooperation that currently impede investigations and prosecutions of computer-related crimes, making it an important tool in the global fight against those who seek to disrupt computer networks, misuse sensitive or private information, or commit traditional crimes using Internet-enabled technologies. With the addition of the U.S., 16 of the 43 countries that have signed the treaty have now completed their ratification process.

"We thank the Administration for its support of this important treaty and commend Senator Lugar for his leadership in shepherding the Convention through the Committee process to final Senate passage. We also thank Senators Frist, Reid, Biden, Specter, Leahy and Inhofe for their diligent work on this issue," said Kurtz.