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[FYI] (Fwd) GILC cybercrime press release

[FITUG e.V. has signed on this letter.                    ---AHH]

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Tue, 12 Dec 2000 17:38:41 -0500
From:           	Barry Steinhardt <Barrys@aclu.org>
Subject:        	cybercrime press release
To:             	gilc-plan@gilc.org
Send reply to:  	gilc-plan@gilc.org

Below is the American version of the Cybercrime treaty press release.
It will be released in the US on Wednesday morning. GILC members
should feel free to use any or all of it for your own releases. In
fact, I would encourage you to do so.

I am sorry for the delay in getting this out, but our email server has
been down much of today and my ability to communicate with the rest of
the world was virtually nill.

Barry Steinhardt

Cyber-Rights Groups Join Forces to
Oppose Anti-Privacy Cybercrime Treaty

Tuesday, December 12, 2000

CONTACT: Emily Whitfield, ACLU, (212) 549-2566/ewhitfield@aclu.org
David Sobel, EPIC, (202) 483-1140/sobel@epic.org Gus Hosein, +44 (0)
955 6403/i.hosein@lse.ac.uk

WASHINGTON--An international coalition of cyberliberties and human
rights groups today warned that provisions of a draft international
cybercrime treaty pose a serious threat to individual privacy in the
United States and worldwide.

In a letter sent to Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary General Walter
Schwimmer and its Committee of Experts on Cyber Crime, the Global
Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC) said that the cyber crime convention
"threatens the rights of the individual while extending the powers of
police authorities, creates a low-barrier protection of rights
uniformly across borders, and ignores highly-regarded data protection

"The new document would permit government agents to invade the privacy
of law-abiding citizens," said Barry Steinhardt, Associate Director of
the American Civil Liberties Union, a founding member of GILC. "We
call on governments around the world to reject the treaty because it
does not provide enough protection to fundamental human rights."

David Sobel, General Counsel the Electronic Privacy Information Center
(EPIC), also a GILC founding member, added that, "despite some minor
changes from the earlier drafts, the treaty still reads like a law
enforcement wish list. The only way to change that would be to open up
the drafting process and allow meaningful participation from all
effected interests."

Among other things, the coalition said that the latest draft
Convention on Cyber-crime (which is being spearheaded by the Council
of Europe and U.S. law enforcement officials):

* Specifically allows real-time collection and recording of Internet
transmissions-thus permitting the widescale use of controversial
government spyware programs such as Carnivore.

* Forces ordinary Internet users to turn over decryption keys and
other personal information to the government-which will not only erode
online privacy, but may also violate the right against

* Promotes the use of invasive techniques for virtually any crime.
While the treaty contains small limitations on the use of
interception, "which ... can only be used for 'serious offences to be
determined by domestic law,'" this limitation may have little effect,
because many countries have extremely broad definitions of serious
crime for wiretapping purposes.

Was largely created in secret-a process that is clearly "at odds with
democratic decision making." The letter's signatories called on
government representatives to "learn and practice responsiveness to
consultation by incorporating and protecting human rights."

The full letter is posted on the GILC website at

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