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[FYI] (Fwd) Shunned' industry scuppers European cybercrime treaty

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Thu, 05 Apr 2001 07:21:40 +0100
To:             	ukcrypto@chiark.greenend.org.uk
From:           	Donald ramsbottom <donald@ramsbottom.co.uk>
Subject:        	Shunned' industry scuppers European cybercrime treaty
Send reply to:  	ukcrypto@chiark.greenend.org.uk

>From Silicon.com report on "Industry" reaction to new EU rules


'Shunned' industry scuppers European cybercrime treaty

Leading figures in the IT industry are on the verge of derailing
Europe's proposed cybercrime treaty, claiming the law-makers failed to
consult them properly and have therefore produced "totally
unsupportable" legislation.

The Council of Europe, the organisation behind the treaty, is expected
to bow down to this pressure as early as next week.

Opposition to the Convention on Cybercrime, which is now in its 25th
draft, has been growing steadily over the last few months. Industry
and civil rights groups were not allowed to participate until the 19th
draft, and even then only after strong lobbying.

The US State Department and the Department of Justice were both
involved in its drafting, meaning any Council of Europe legislation
would be a template for a global treaty.

This prompted US-based companies to get involved. Much of the concern
has revolved around what the World Information Technology and Services
Alliance described as "burdensome data preservation requirements on

According to high-level industry sources, the Council of Europe's
decision to concede to these concerns was due to the threat of a
complete breakdown of relations between the lawmakers and the

Other sources contacted by silicon.com indicated that attempts to
force the treaty through in its present form would have resulted in
vigorous lobbying of parliaments at national level across Europe, and
possible legal action.

Jeff Pryce, of respected Washington law firm Steptoe and Johnson,
which has been actively engaged in criticising the European
legislation, said: "The problem is that [the treaty] has been law
enforcement led. The premise has been inappropriate as far as scope
and transparency are concerned. It would have really benefited from a
more open process."

Many critics of the treaty have been more candid in private, pointing
to a technological ignorance which borders on Luddism among
legislators - a problem Pryce feels could have been avoided by
bringing industry in at the outset.

He said: "The internet started out as an open, free space for
innovation and the industry should be allowed to use innovation to
counter problems that have developed due to the internet."

The industry has long lobbied to be consulted at greater length over
IT-related legislation. Any concessions made by the Council will be
interpreted as an admission of the need to evolve new methods of
dealing with the issues raised by high-tech crime.

Donald Ramsbottom BA LLb (Hons) PGdip
Ramsbottom & Co Solicitors
Internet and Global Encryption Law Specialists & General UK  Law
Matters 5 Seagrove Avenue Hayling Island Hampshire UK Tel (44) 023
9246 5931 Fax (44) 023 9246 8349 Regulated by the Law Society in the
conduct of Investment business Service by Fax or Email NOT accepted

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