Senate Ratifies Controversial Cybercrime Treaty

7 comments

From CNET

On the surface it seems a harmless treaty that would help countries fight hackers, terrorists, and so on. But there are some very disturbing things in this treaty that could not only infringe on the privacy of web users across the globe, but also change the "free speech" nature of the net.

Here are a few issues with the treaty:

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Law enforcement officials in a particular nation would be forced under this treaty to cooperate with investigations of behavior that is illegal in another country but perfectly legal within their borders.
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The treaty's vague and obscure intellectual property provisions would significantly expand criminal liability for intellectual property violations and further tilt copyright law away from the public interest.

There are a lot of areas that are disconcerning in the treaty. It essentially makes it illegal for you break the law in another country despite it being legal in your country. So technically, France and Germany could prosecute you if you broke their hate speech laws by being pro-Nazi, despite your constitutional right to free speech in the US.

If Russia or China chooses to rafity it, they would then be allowed to use the FBI to run surveillance on political opponents in the US by reading their e-mails and so forth.

Now there are some parts of the treaty that are good and will help the Internet as a whole. But many of the issues in it open the door for large scale civil liberties violations.

Comments

dubious

I find it disturbing that national laws are not respected in this area - it will become a pull towards lowest common denominator.

Further - why different rules for the real world and the internet? I mean, if i sell porn in a shop this will not affect me, but if I sell on the WWW it will. Makes no sense to me.

is this even really

is this even really enforceable? so many of these laws or bills i am so skeptical of, simply because i dont see how enforcement is going to work. whatever it is these laws are designed to combat, the battle is going to be waged against decentralized individuals. so the battle is essentially big centralized institution vs loose decentralized network. i'll take loose decentralized network to win that battle every time.

Further - why different

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Further - why different rules for the real world and the internet? I mean, if i sell porn in a shop this will not affect me, but if I sell on the WWW it will. Makes no sense to me.

It's not different laws for internet and people. It's the fact that I could be doing something perfectly legal in the US and have another country charge me with a crime that my own government will investigate. It essentially allows a country like Germany to use the FBI to prosecute an individual for posting nazi propoganda online from the US.

It is really just so vague that it is open for abuse. As I mentioned, it can be used by other countries to spy on potential political opponents. It is one of those laws that will probably not be used for years, but someday will be abused by the powers to be (kind of like the loose laws on FISA courts and other issues that give the President unlimited powers to invade privacy).

>> It's not different laws

>> It's not different laws for internet and people.

Oh yes. In my country it is fully legal to sell pr0n in a shop, or on the internet. No difference. That may not be the case in other countries (AFAIK)

It;'s Just a Shame

that the US government blatently ignores international laws themselves. The abstract writing of laws is an erosion of liberties and just another way to controll the masses.

There are a lot of areas

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There are a lot of areas that are disconcerning in the treaty. It essentially makes it illegal for you break the law in another country despite it being legal in your country.

If I'm reading this right, you're saying for example, China could disallow a US citizen to talk about the democratic process on a US web site. But the US Senate does not make laws for the world...I guess I'm not following.

Nation-state

The nation-state. What a quaint 18th Century concept! Our kids will look up to us and ask bewilderingly, "Did we *really* move soldiers into other places, kill a bunch of people, and fire rockets into crowds?" No, baby, that's what non-human nation-states did, now it's too unprofitable to make the bombs or retain collections of murderers to defend against other collections of murderers.

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