Risk
8/7/2006
08:30 AM
50%
50%

Senate OKs Controversial Internet Treaty

The international Convention on Cybercrime is 'world's worst Internet law,' critics say

The U.S. Senate Friday ratified an international treaty designed to ease investigation of cybercrime, but U.S. civil liberties groups say that signing the pact is a big mistake.

The Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime, which began circulating in 2001, has been adopted by 41 other countries, including most of Europe as well as Canada and Japan. It is designed to harmonize laws on computer crime, which differ from country to country.

Countries that sign the treaty agree to establish some common laws against criminal behavior online, such as attacks on computer networks, terrorist tactics, and exploitation of children. The language of the treaty is very broad and doesn't require the U.S. to write any new cybercrime laws.

However, by signing the treaty, the U.S. will now be bound to aid its partner countries in the investigation of cybercrime, even if the alleged perpetrators have not violated any U.S. statute, critics say. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both called the treaty the "world's worst Internet law."

"Countries that have laws limiting free speech on the Net could oblige the FBI to uncover the identities of anonymous U.S. critics, or monitor their communications on behalf of foreign governments," the EFF said. "American ISPs would be obliged to obey other jurisdictions' requests to log their users' behavior without due process, or compensation."

However, Council of Europe documentation on the treaty suggests that the EFF may be oversimplifying the treaty's position on ISPs. "Service providers are obligated only to preserve (i.e., not delete or disclose) data that they are currently storing, if requested to do so by law enforcement with respect to specified data in a particular case," the Council says. ISPs aren't required to retain or disclose data not needed for business purposes, it says.

Still, critics are concerned about the mandate for U.S. law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes on behalf of other countries. "A future leftist President could even allow Communist China to sign on to the treaty and direct U.S. law enforcement to investigate Chinese dissidents, even Americans, based in the United States," postulated one critic.

But U.S. law enforcement agents are happy about the treaty, because it will help them to investigate cybercrimes launched from other countries. The pact will help law enforcement agencies to obtain electronic evidence needed to prosecute cybercrime cases, says U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7241
Published: 2014-12-19
The TSUTAYA application 5.3 and earlier for Android allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary Java methods via a crafted HTML document.

CVE-2014-7249
Published: 2014-12-19
Buffer overflow on the Allied Telesis AR440S, AR441S, AR442S, AR745, AR750S, AR750S-DP, AT-8624POE, AT-8624T/2M, AT-8648T/2SP, AT-8748XL, AT-8848, AT-9816GB, AT-9924T, AT-9924Ts, CentreCOM AR415S, CentreCOM AR450S, CentreCOM AR550S, CentreCOM AR570S, CentreCOM 8700SL, CentreCOM 8948XL, CentreCOM 992...

CVE-2014-7267
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the output-page generator in the Ricksoft WBS Gantt-Chart add-on 7.8.1 and earlier for JIRA allows remote authenticated users to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-7268.

CVE-2014-7268
Published: 2014-12-19
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the data-export feature in the Ricksoft WBS Gantt-Chart add-on 7.8.1 and earlier for JIRA allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-7267.

CVE-2014-8272
Published: 2014-12-19
The IPMI 1.5 functionality in Dell iDRAC6 modular before 3.65, iDRAC6 monolithic before 1.98, and iDRAC7 before 1.57.57 does not properly select session ID values, which makes it easier for remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via a brute-force attack.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Join us Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to hear what employers are really looking for in a chief information security officer -- it may not be what you think.