United Nations to Increase Surveillance and Data Collection

By Emma Hugg •  Updated: 01/13/23 •  2 min read

The United Nations has long recognized the growing threat of cybercrime and has taken steps to address it through international treaties and agreements. One such treaty is the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, adopted by the Council of Europe in 2001 and ratified by over 60 countries.

The treaty aims to harmonize national laws and improve international cooperation in the fight against cybercrime. It covers various criminal activities, including computer-related fraud, hacking, and child pornography. The treaty also addresses issues such as the preservation of digital evidence and mutual assistance in investigations.

The Budapest Convention is considered the first international treaty on cybercrime and has served as a model for other agreements, such as the Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Convention Committee and the G7 Cybercrime Experts Group.

However, despite its success, the Budapest Convention has been criticized for being too focused on law enforcement and not enough on human rights. Some argue that the treaty’s emphasis on surveillance and data collection could infringe on privacy and civil liberties.

The treaty has also been criticized for its lack of universal participation. Many countries, particularly developing countries, have yet to ratify the treaty and may not have the resources or capabilities to implement its provisions fully.

In recent years, there has been a push for a new, universal cybercrime treaty to address these concerns and expand upon the Budapest Convention. The United Nations has been leading these efforts, with the goal of creating a treaty that is inclusive and balanced, taking into account the needs of both law enforcement and human rights.

One potential solution to this issue is increasing awareness and education on cybercrime and its impact on society. This could involve working with international organizations and governments to provide training and resources to help countries strengthen their cybercrime laws and capabilities. It could also involve working with the private sector to develop new technologies and solutions to combat cybercrime.

In conclusion, the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime has been a valuable tool in the fight against cybercrime, but there is still work to be done. A universal cybercrime treaty is needed to address the concerns of human rights and the lack of participation of some countries. With increased awareness and education, the international community can work together to create a more inclusive and effective response to the growing threat of cybercrime.