An Advocacy Handbook for the Non Governmental Organisations: The Council of Europe’s Cyber-Crime Convention 2001 and the additional protocol on the criminalisation of acts of a racist or xenophobic nature committed through computer systems, Cyber-Rights.Org, December 2003 (revised and updated in May 2008).
The Cyber-Crime Convention 2001 and its Additional Protocol concerning the Criminalisation of Acts of a Racist and Xenophobic Nature Committed Through Computer Systems have been developed by the Council of Europe, an international and well respected organisation with a primary mission to strengthen democracy, human rights, and the rule of law throughout its member states. Although the Cyber-Crime Convention states in the preamble that a proper balance needs to be ensured between the interests of law enforcement and respect for fundamental human rights, the balance resolutely and regrettably favours the former.
While the CoE’s concerns in relation to cyber-crimes and its desire to address criminal law and mutual assistance in criminal matters are shared by many, any co-ordinated policy initiative at an international level should ideally aim to offer the best protection for individual rights and liberties. Lamentably, this has not been the case.
This advocacy handbook for the NGOs provides a policy analysis of the Cyber-Crime Convention 2001 and the Additional Protocol from a human rights perspective for policy specialists, NGOs, and human rights activists within the 45 member states of the Council of Europe. Compatibility problems with the European Convention on Human Rights and implications for freedom of expression, privacy of communications and data protection are the main focus of this critical analysis.