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Enhanced co-operation and disclosure of electronic evidence: 22 countries sign new Protocol to Cybercrime Convention

The Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention), aimed at enhancing co-operation and disclosure of electronic evidence has been opened for signature at a conference organised under the Italian Presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.

The Protocol was signed in the presence of several ministers by the following Council of Europe member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and Sweden, and by non-member states: Chile, Colombia, Japan, Morocco and United States.

“Cybercrime is growing and changing at an increasing rate. It disrupts everything from businesses to hospitals to the critical infrastructure we all depend on. Today, we are making a major contribution to the worldwide effort to fight online crime. The Second Protocol brings the Budapest Convention up to date with current, technological challenges, so that it remains the most relevant and effective international framework for combating cybercrime in the years ahead. It is the gateway to a safer, more secure future,” said the Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

“The use of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) by organised crime in all “sectors” (sexual exploitation, drug trafficking, smuggling, terrorism) represents a further challenge for our judicial authorities and for our institutions. Our governments must respond properly and effectively to all those crimes, in line with the technological evolution. The Second Additional Protocol, therefore, responds to the need for greater and more efficient co-operation between States and between the States and the private sector, clarifying the cases in which the “service providers” will be able to provide the data in their possession directly to the competent authorities of other countries. The relevance of this Protocol is a hope for the victims of cybercrime,” said Justice Minister of Italy, Marta Cartabia.

The Protocol provides tools for enhanced co-operation and disclosure of electronic evidence - such as direct co-operation with service providers and registrars, effective means to obtain subscriber information and traffic data, immediate co-operation in emergencies or joint investigations - that are subject to a system of human rights and rule of law, including data protection safeguards.

It is open for signature by Parties to the Convention and will enter into force once ratified by five States.

 Speech by the Secretary General

Committee of Ministers Presidency Strasbourg 12 May 2022
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