“The 15th anniversary of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime is a turning point, in that the Convention is now reaching out into the ‘clouds’,” said the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, at the opening of the 2016 Octopus conference.
Data, and therefore electronic evidence, is increasingly stored on servers in foreign, unknown or multiple jurisdictions. This can make it extremely difficult for criminal justice authorities to lawfully secure such evidence. And without it, criminals operating in cyberspace cannot be prosecuted.
The Secretary General welcomed, as an effective response to the challenge of “cloud computing”, the set of recommendations adopted by the Cybercrime Convention Committee at its meeting on 14 and 15 November, and which includes the negotiation of an additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention as of the middle of 2017.
“Co-operation between states has improved tremendously – and that is very much thanks to the work of the Cybercrime Convention Committee. The Guidance Notes adopted by the Committee have helped keep the Convention relevant and up-to-date, strengthening our ability to fight terrorism, identity theft or attacks against critical information infrastructure,” said the Secretary General, who called on governments to better protect the rights of individuals in cyberspace.
“We have developed a kind of ‘dynamic triangle’ – the Convention, the Committee and capacity building – and as a result the Budapest Convention continues to be the most important international treaty on cybercrime and electronic evidence today,” he concluded.
On the occasion of the conference, Andorra ratified the Convention, in the presence of Eva Descarrega Garcia, Secretary of State for Justice and Home Affairs of Andorra.
Sixty-eight States are either already party to the Budapest Convention, or have formally committed. At least a further 70 countries have drawn on the Convention as a guideline for domestic legislation.