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UN to form cybercrime committee in move opposed by US, EU

UN to form cybercrime committee in move opposed by US, EU

The United Nations General Assembly on Friday approved a resolution that aims to create a new international convention on cybercrime.

The Russian-sponsored resolution was approved by a 79-60 vote with 33 abstentions, according to The Associated Press.

The resolution was approved over objections from both the European Union and the United States, as many fear language in the resolution will allow for crackdowns on expression.

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U.S. Deputy Ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet said before the vote that “this resolution will undermine international cooperation to combat cyber-crime at a time when enhanced coordination is essential,” the AP reported.

“There is no consensus among member states on the need or value of drafting a new treaty,” she added. “It will only serve to stifle global efforts to combat cybercrime.”

The resolution creates a committee of experts representing all regions of the world “to elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.” 

The committee is scheduled to meet in August to agree on an agenda for its upcoming activities.

Chalet also took issue with the fact that the resolution was agreed upon before cybersecurity experts were able to weigh in.

″It is wrong to make a political decision on a new treaty before cybercrime experts can give their advice,” she said.

Both Chalet and the Finnish representative speaking on behalf of the European Union pointed out that the existing expert group on cybercrime was already discussing whether a new treaty was needed.

Human Rights Watch slammed the resolution, calling the list of its sponsors “a rogue’s gallery of some of the earth’s most repressive governments,” according to the South China Morning Post.