The protection of privacy and personal data continue to face unprecedented threats – linked to mass surveillance and other risks. Cybercrime is increasing as the internet and communication technology develop across borders.
International co-operation and the effective implementation of legally binding standards – such as the Council of Europe’s conventions on cybercrime and personal data protection - are more needed than ever. Ensuring that the existing rules are enforced and that solutions are found to solve existing shortcomings are issues that governments and other stakeholders need to address.
Conveying these concerns and sharing the organisation’s expertise in the fight against cybercrime and the protection of privacy with governments, private companies, civil society and academia will be the key priorities of the Council of Europe’s participation in the 11th meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), to be held in Zapopan (Jalisco, México) from 6 to 9 December.
In a workshop jointly organised with the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the Council of Europe will address the difficulties that law enforcement agencies face to have access to criminal evidence stored online, often on private companies’ servers and abroad in another State’s jurisdiction, and will discuss possible solutions. (Workshop on Law Enforcement, Cyberspace & Jurisdiction, 7 December, 12.00 - 13.30)
Participants will examine approaches to enable governments to meet their obligations to protect societies and individuals against cybercrime while respecting rule of law and data protection requirements – including cooperation with the private sector. Governments, international institutions, the private sector and other stakeholders are considering new frameworks for cooperation and for determining jurisdiction in cyberspace.
The members of the Council of Europe delegation will also participate as panellists in a number of IGF sessions and workshops concerning social media and youth radicalisation; economic, social and cultural rights; surveillance and international human rights law, and multicultural and multi-stakeholder capacity building. They will also take part in a youth internet governance forum.
Fifteen years after its adoption, the Budapest Convention remains the most effective international treaty on cybercrime and the rule of law in cyberspace. 68 countries have signed, ratified or been invited to accede to the Convention. More than 120 countries are cooperating with the Council of Europe to reinforce their legislation and criminal justice capacities to address cybercrime.
The Council of Europe data protection convention, known as “Convention 108”, has become the backbone of personal data protection legislation in Europe and in many other countries. This treaty is open to any other country in the world. So far 53 countries have ratified it, signed it or been invited to accede. An additional protocol requires the establishment of an independent authority to ensure compliance with data protection principles and lays down rules on trans-border data flows.