Monday, June 6, 2011

International Cyber Law Treaty Is Required

Cyber Law has become very important these days. Sooner or later all countries of the World would have their own Cyber Laws. However, Cyber Law is different from other National Laws. While other National Laws are usually “Territorial” in nature and covers territorial acts or omissions yet Cyber Law governs act or omissions that travel far beyond the national territory.

For instance a Cyber Crime may be committed in country X by using computers located at country Y by a resident of country Z. This “International” nature of Cyber Crimes makes it unique and it also requires a “unique treatment”.

Here lies the real problem. Cyber Law is essentially “International” in nature whereas its dealings all over the World are “National” in nature. Without “International Cooperation” the National Cyber laws are useless.

This brings the importance of an International Cyber Law Treaty of Convention that can provide a “Harmonised Framework” for Cyber Law across the globe. Till now we do not have a “Universally Acceptable” International Cyber Law Treaty or Convention.

Of course, some countries are part of the Convention on Cyber Crime or also known as the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime. The Budapest Convention is the first “Treaty Effort” that is seeking to address Cyber Law and Cyber Crimes at the International Level. However, it is not a full fledged International Cyber Crimes Treaty as many Countries, like India, are not part of the same.

Recently, efforts were made at the United Nations (UN) to adopt a “More Comprehensive” and “Truly Global” International Cyber Crime Treaty. However, the proposal was rejected by UN and till now there is no “Globally Acceptable” Cyber Crime Treaty in existence. This is unfortunate as UN must have a more active role in the formulation and implementation of an International Cyber Law Treaty. UN must also play a pro active role in protecting Human Rights in Cyberspace.

Even the World community on Human Rights, Cyber Law and Cyber Security must start thinking in this direction as issues like Cyber Warfare, Cyber Terrorism, Cyber Espionage, Cyber Crimes, E-Surveillance, Unlawful Interceptions, etc are “Transnational” in nature. If different Countries would have different laws for these issues, it would be very difficult to truly enforce protective provisions against these menaces at National and International levels. It is high time for UN to seriously consider issues like International Cyber Law Treaty and protection of Human Rights in Cyberspace.

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