Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Resolution urges countries to join Convention on Cybercrime


Resolution urges countries to join Convention on Cybercrime

Cyber attacks should be viewed as equal to conventional acts of aggression according to a resolution now pending at the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, the world's largest regional security organization, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly reported.

The resolution is up for a vote at the Assembly's Annual Session in Istanbul starting 29 June. The debate follows a decision earlier this month by NATO to have a fully operational cyber defense capability in place by October.

The OSCE PA resolution seeks to increase international co-operation addressing cybercrime challenges and stresses these attacks are a serious security threat that "cannot be ignored or underestimated."

"It is most regrettable that the international community has been unable to agree on specific countermeasures against cyber threats so far. We are in an urgent need for the international community to increase co-operation and information exchange in the field of cyber security," said Liisa-Ly Pakosta (Estonia), author of the resolution.

The draft also calls for parliaments and governments to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime of 2001, which is the only legally binding multilateral instrument specifically addressing the computer-related crime.

The resolution also aims to protect fundamental freedoms in the digital age. OSCE countries have for several years failed to reach consensus to modernize commitments in this area. "The same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression," Pakosta said.

The resolution is being considered for inclusion in the Assembly's Istanbul Declaration, which helps shape OSCE and national policy. Parliamentarians from more than 50 countries will vote on the resolution and declaration at the OSCE PA's Annual Session beginning 29 June in Istanbul. The Annual Session, including committee debates and votes, are open to the press and public. The session runs 29 June through 3 July.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 323 parliamentarians from 57 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international cooperation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.


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