Ireland declines to sign cybercrime treaty



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1 April 2005 | 0

So far, 30 states signed the cybercrime convention, including 26 European countries, Japan, South Africa, Canada and the US. 

Completed after four years of negotiations, the Council of Europe (CoE) convention gives international law enforcement officers greater powers to coordinate and prosecute computer-assisted crimes. 

The anti-cybercrime treaty – the first of its kind – outlines common definitions of computer-related crimes, defines the methods to be used in criminal investigations and prosecutions, and establishes methods of international communication between law enforcement officials.




The treaty makes it a crime in all signatory nations to attack computer systems, whether by spreading a virus or hacking into a server. It also prohibits computer-assisted crimes, such as online fraud or the distribution of child pornography.

Though the treaty does not legislate against using the Internet to incite racial or religious hatred (it was considered by the US to contravene its citizens’ first amendment rights to free speech), the Council of Europe has set up a committee to draft an amendment that makes using computers for racist and xenophobic propaganda an offence. 

Russia, Denmark and the Czech Republic were among the other countries not to sign the treaty.

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