Add Bad Internet Legislation To List Of US Imports
from the made-in-somewhere-else dept
Having apparently decided that homegrown internet legislation isn’t sufficiently bad, the Senate has approved the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, which essentially establishes rules and a framework for international cooperation on cybercrime investigation and harmonizes computer crime laws. US laws already contain many of the convention’s stipulations, but one significant change is that it forces law enforcement groups and businesses of one country to cooperate with foreign governments without the requirement of “dual criminality” — meaning that they’re obliged to help foreign law enforcement investigate crimes even if the targets of the investigation have broken no laws in their country. For instance, the FBI must now help, say, French security services investigate internet crimes that happen there, while those French services must comply with US requests to do things such as wiretap a network there in regards to a crime committed in the US. Given the ongoing controversy regarding the US governments’ wiretapping here in its own country, it seems more than a little problematic to give it carte blanche to force foreign governments to help it carry out similar activities overseas, while offering those countries the same privileges here. While it’s certain that cybercrime is an international problem, and criminals like child pornographers and hackers act with little regard for geographic borders, simply throwing things open so widely seems more likely to drastically raise the possibility of abuse of civil liberties and skirting of laws than do anything tangible to stop crime.