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Cybercrime Treaty Signed 137

Posted by michael
from the when-I-reached-my-sixteenth-year-I-signed-my-life-away dept.
lam0r writes: "I can't find a newslink for this, but CNN had on their news ticker that 37 nations, including the United States, had signed a treaty designed to make tracking and prosecuting 'hackers' easier and more efficient. What exactly is defined as 'hacker' is something I haven't been able to find out. ... Why was the public not made aware of this until it was done? Anyone know more about this item than me?" This is the Cybercrime Treaty, which was signed today by 30 nations and which we have posted about before. This analysis is probably the best so far - it might be a little out of date since the treaty has been revised once or twice since it was written, but the basics are still the same.
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Cybercrime Treaty Signed

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  • Big Suprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Moonshadow (84117) on Friday November 23, 2001 @10:07PM (#2605590) Homepage
    Nothing new. Just another way for government to steal personal privacies. Anyone NOT see this one coming?

    This is just an extention of the government's basic idea in relation to technology: give no one any privacies, anonyminity, or rights, and we can catch all the bad guys. The only problem is, the cure's worse than the disease. How much are we willing to compromise until there's a severe backlash?

    • The continued freedom to create and use free software is always in danger. Unfortunately, some interests seem to use the tragic events of September 11, 2001 as an excuse for wide-ranging infringement on civil liberties, some of which may threaten the very ability to create free software at all.
      - http://kernel.org/ [kernel.org]
  • Great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Vegeta99 (219501)
    So this one takes away constitutional rights, and gets around the protections - IIRC, treaties approved by legislature and the executive branch carry the same weight as the Constitution itself. Uhoh. This looks like it could be worse than the DMCA.

    Although, perhaps, since it says singing states WILL create (it doesn't say that the treaty DOES) legislature banning these things, we might be OK.
    • Actually they tried to preserve some rights in this draft left out any language dealing with racial hatred because they felt it would violate the first amendment. I don't agree with it, but leave it to your media to make arguments [cnn.com] that are pretty much slander to try to get people in favor of it.
      • Actually they tried to preserve some rights in this draft left out any language dealing with racial hatred because they felt it would violate the first amendment.

        Oh, what a relief.

        I can say what I want about other races, but if I prove a security protocol fundamentally flawed, I'm incarcerated. So long as I can racially slur.

    • IIRC, treaties approved by legislature and the executive branch carry the same weight as the Constitution itself

      Since the Constitution sets out terms for the mere existence of the legislative and executive branches, it would tend to have more weight.
      • I meant same weight as in we can't argue it unconstitutional because a treaty is (again, IIRC) given the same supremacy as the constitution itself. And knowing how well our legal system works, it probably will never be deemed unconstitutional, which it seems to be.
        However, without the racial/hate censorship, it does seem more acceptable, and it won't violate 1st amendment too bad.

    • IIRC, treaties approved by legislature and the executive branch carry the same weight as the Constitution itself.


      You are wrong. Treaties do not carry the same "weight" as the Constitution itself. The Constitution cannot be "amended" by a treaty. Constitutional protections cannot be abrogated by treaty.

      In Reid v. Covert [cornell.edu], 354 U.S. 1 (1957), the Supreme Court held:

      The obvious and decisive answer to this, of course, is that no agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution.


      Article VI, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, declares:

      This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; . . .


      There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution. Nor is there anything in the debates which accompanied the drafting and ratification of the Constitution which even suggests such a result. These debates, as well as the history that surrounds the adoption of the treaty provision in Article VI, make it clear that the reason treaties were not limited to those made in "pursuance" of the Constitution was so that agreements made by the United States under the Articles of Confederation, including the important peace treaties which concluded the Revolutionary [p*17] War, would remain in effect. [n31] It would be manifestly contrary to the objectives of those who created the Constitution, as well as those who were responsible for the Bill of Rights -- let alone alien to our entire constitutional history and tradition -- to construe Article VI as permitting the United States to exercise power under an international agreement without observing constitutional prohibitions. [n32] In effect, such construction would permit amendment of that document in a manner not sanctioned by Article V. The prohibitions of the Constitution were designed to apply to all branches of the National Government, and they cannot be nullified by the Executive or by the Executive and the Senate combined.

      There is nothing new or unique about what we say here. This Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty. [n33] For example, in Geofroy v. Riggs, 133 U.S. 258, 267, it declared:

      The treaty power, as expressed in the Constitution, is in terms unlimited except by those restraints which are found in that instrument against the action of the government or of its departments, and those arising from the nature of the government itself and of that of the States. It would not be contended that it extends so far as to authorize what the Constitution forbids, or a change in the character of the [p*18] government, or in that of one of the States, or a cession of any portion of the territory of the latter, without its consent.

      This Court has also repeatedly taken the position that an Act of Congress, which must comply with the Constitution, is on a full parity with a treaty, and that, when a statute which is subsequent in time is inconsistent with a treaty, the statute to the extent of conflict renders the treaty null. [n34] It would be completely anomalous to say that a treaty need not comply with the Constitution when such an agreement can be overridden by a statute that must conform to that instrument.


      Reid [cornell.edu], 354 U.S. at 16-18 (footnotes omitted).
  • You can qualify almost anything as hacking if you stretch the words around enough. Therefore this could make the nations in question into places where everyone is in violation of some interpretation of the law.

    This is what you call a police state. Anyone can be arrested at any time for any reason or no reason at all. Maybe I should move to the Middle East. Iraq didn't sign it.

    • In Iraq you can't own a typewriter without a military lisence, much less a modem. Coming from an expatriot Iraqi family myself, trust me when I say you have more freedom, even when it _is_ restricted, than you realize. That said, this is Not Cool TM.
      • "Coming from an expatriot Iraqi family myself, trust me when I say you have more freedom, even when it _is_ restricted, than you realize. "

        I understand what you mean. I was just being sarcastic. Perhaps I did not choose a very good example to make my point.

  • by hillct (230132) on Friday November 23, 2001 @10:15PM (#2605625) Homepage Journal
    It's scary that so many lawmakers in so many countries can make mistakes like this. It just goes to show the power of ill-informed people in large numbers. Blind agreement to treaties like this serve to establish a dangerous trend in international relations.

    No longer is the United States leading in introducing new freedoms to people throughout the world, who are subject to governments offering less freedoms that are available in the United States. Instead, the rights (to due process, etc) available in the United States are gradually eaten away to become 'consistant' with the processes of other countries. No longer is America leading the way with regard to international policy. America's leadership durring the Cold War facilitated application of a degree of incluence which is so longer evident. Perhaps the 'war on terrorism' will manifest as the new cold war, and propel the United States into a leadership position once again.

    Then again, it can be legitimately argued that that the United States played a leadership role in stripping it's citizens of their civil liverties on an international stage.

    --CTH
    • It's NAÏVE (hope I got the accent right)
    • As the trusty old saying goes: SAY WHAT?

      Isn't globalization the name o' the game? WTO and all that?

      Hasn't it been decided that it's not worth it - well, no PROFITABLE to - use American labor to work for American-based (for now) multinational corporations?

      Isn't it clear that it's too freakin' expensive to maintain the full-blown illusion of prosperity in America - that idea was dropped a couple decades ago.

      Which is why the poor in America are blatantly ignored, and US billionaires multiply (15 billionaires for the first half of the '80s, 90 by '90, 260 today - where are all these billionaires coming from - and that's AFTER the Dotcom Bust).

      Name ONE shining example of US foreign policy (this one's just 'cause I can't even think of what foreign policy IS exactly - is that like the War on Terroism and the Coalition; supporting Israel with a few billion a year; the Gulf War - or are those military policy? I'm clueless...)

      Remember, He'p!
    • "It just goes to show the power of ill-informed people in large numbers."

      Ill informed people are almost always found in large numbers.

      "Perhaps the 'war on terrorism' will manifest as the new cold war, and propel the United States into a leadership position once again."

      It's already in the leadership position. All your $$s are belong to US(of A).
  • The first thing... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsarina (456482) on Friday November 23, 2001 @10:15PM (#2605627) Homepage Journal
    I don't care as much what's in the treaty. It could be that all nations must begin emptying their stockpiles of cute purple kittens for all I care. What the issue is, at least to me, is that we had little/no idea this was coming. Who's supposed to inform the public that our nation's signing crazy treaties? Most of the media's too busy with the Afghanistan operations...

    Democracy is all about accountability. The reason democracy doesn't quite work is because that principle is not fulfilled. When the majority of the citizens don't know what their government is doing, then you get them signing strange purple kitten treaties. Or stuff like this. That is why it is that aspect of this treaty that I hold issue with.
    • Democracy is all about accountability. The reason democracy doesn't quite work is because that principle is not fulfilled. When the majority of the citizens don't know what their government is doing, then you get them signing strange purple kitten treaties.
      And with the majority of the press controlled by a handful of multi-national mega-corps, are you surprised that it doesn't work? Face it, it's much easier to make money when the gov'ment is your tool.
      • And with the majority of the press controlled by a handful of multi-national mega-corps

        Actually, indivduall access to differing viewpoints is greater now than at any time in history. Not only do we have access to divering types of media, but every people can now self-publish at increasingly cheaper prices. In the 1300's, it took months to hand make a book. Now it takes you twenty bucks at the local Kinkos - or better yet, put it on a web page for almost nothing. Hell, we're having this discussion right now, and you or I don't own a press do we.
        • Actually, indivduall access to differing viewpoints is greater now than at any time in history.

          Yes, but those in power have greater access, by orders of magnitude, to serfs/citizens then they ever have before. The powerful can influence greatly, to the point of defacto control, the information we have access to. Can you name any individual who can deliver his/her point of view in in 30 second catch-phrases repeated very 20 minutes to the majority of the nation?

    • we had little/no idea this was coming

      Actually, this was on Slashdot before (at least it sounds like the same treaty), back in May [slashdot.org], and twice [slashdot.org] in June [slashdot.org]. As for the major media outlets, the lack of coverage is not really surprising once you consider who their parent companies are. CNN, Newsweek, and Time are all brought to you by our friends at AOL Time Warner, and, obviously, NBC has a partnership with Microsoft. It's all but impossible to get a message across to the general public without running it past someone from the RIAA, MPAA, BSA, et. al. first.

  • Fear (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ashcrow (469400)
    People fear what they don't understand. Security isn't something that the average user thinks about untill they lose a credit card or so.

    Hackers have a bad reputation mainly because of the media, but Linus isn't evil, the creators of Slashdot are not evil, Alan Cox isn't evil, etc... and they are all hackers. Usually hacker is used for security coders/auditors but isn't just bound to that.

    This kind of leads me to wonder if it isn't ok to hack (test your security, create security based aplications, etc...) but it is ok to crack.
    • If the media and most of the generally uninformed public uses the term 'hacker' instead of 'cracker,' then lawmakers will probably use 'hacker' incorrectly. It makes more sense to the rest of the world, because like you said, security coders/auditors isn't bound to 'hacker,' it's the malicious intruders and script kids that are.
  • Does that mean that if I pirate a directv signal here in Canada (which is legal), I can be prosecuted under US law for hacking? Even though it is legal in Canada? Could someone please clarify this?
    • I don't know the specifics of that which you are referring to, however if you are talking about getting directv when you have not paid for its service, then you damn well should be caught and forced to pay, be it in the US or canada!!

      scott
      • Someone modulates an electromagnetic wave in his general direction, and he should be prosecuted for detecting, descrambling and using it? What's next, sound waves?
      • Re:Directv??? (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Its broadcast. If you broadcast something.. You can blame only yourself if it gets intercepted. If you didn't want it intercepted, you shouldn't have put it into the air. Now selling modified equipment in a means to defraud a company of business certainly is punishable by law. However, I have every right to intercept, descramble, and or monitor any broadcast signals that are directed to me. The gubment spys on its own people and other countries by intercepting all forms of communication. Every person should for there own security, be able to do the same so long as it is not a physical act.

        Next your going to tell me I can't listen to a specific radio frequency, or my neighbors cordless phone calls, or law enforcement with a scanner. You are ignorant if you do any of these things and you don't think people are listening. Accept the fact, or find another way but keep your ignorant laws off my body.
        • So if you leave a file on your computer, you can only blame yourself if it gets accessed if your computer is hacked. And if you buy something online and someone steals your credit card, again you have only yourself to blame--you shouldn't have given the possibility of interception.

          And if you're going to say I'd never send a credit card unencrypted, well how is encryption different from scrambling?

          I'm going to tell you that it is wrong to forcibly overcome scrambling to get a commercial product for free. I am telling you it is wrong, and should be illegal to monitor your neighbors calls.

          Scott
      • Re:Directv??? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SealBeater (143912)
        If you don't know the specifics, then why are you commenting about it? For
        your information, its perfectly legal in Canada to intercept DirecTV satallite
        signals. If he resides in Canada and is percecuted under U.S. law, its the
        same situation that Dimitri was jailed for writing software that was legal in
        another country. Just because something is legal/illegal in another country,
        no one should persecuted in their own country if its legal in theirs.

        SealBeater

        • Re:Directv??? (Score:3, Informative)

          by hearingaid (216439)

          It's not legal in Canada to intercept DirecTV. It's just hard for DirecTV to prosecute Canadian pirates.

          If you receive a broadcast signal in Canada that hasn't been approved by the CRTC, you're violating the Broadcasting Act. The problem for DirecTV is that the CRTC has to prosecute under the Act; since they don't have a legal right to broadcast in Canada, it's hard for them to sue under the Copyright Act, although pirates violate it as well. Unfortunately for DirecTV, Canada isn't Singapore, and in order to go after pirates under the Copyright Act, they have to show damages, usually in the form of lost revenue.

        • Well regardless of the actual specifics my comment stands--it is my clear opinion that if DirectTV is selling a product, and they broadcast this product (scrambled nonetheless!), you should pay for it. I see no moral way you can get around this. Saying "Well, it's broadcast anyway, I should be able to do what I want with it" is both immoral and wrong.

          Scott

      • Doing math should never be illegal.
  • by vsync64 (155958) <vsync@quadium.net> on Friday November 23, 2001 @10:21PM (#2605652) Homepage
    From the article:

    The Justice Department responds by noting that, since last April, it has made numerous presentations and met repeatedly with business and other private-sector interests. It is "about as open a process as I can think of," says Betty Shave of Justice's computer crime and intellectual property section, who has represented the department in negotiations.

    So now getting corporate approval is the most open process available. I think I'm going to go be ill now.


    • Well, there is a shock. After all, YOU NASTY LITTLE HACKERS, don't deserve any input.

      We, the government, could give a shit about your rights. Brace yourselves. The best is only yet to come, when they enforce Coke over Pepsi in an international treaty. No Soup!

      Lets hear it for money... cause apparently someone proved that YOU CAN TAKE IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU DIE. After all, I can't think about why anyone like Gates or any of these other fools would set about ruining people's lives for zeroes that they could never spend. Talk about a living hell. These fools are all teenagers, and need to grow the hell up.
      • Well, there is a shock. After all, YOU NASTY LITTLE HACKERS, don't deserve any input.

        I realize you were probably being sarcastic, but this is the kind of misconception that is causing our civil rights to go down the toilet (even without all the post-Sept 11 hoopla). Contrary to what corporations and the government that they help run believe, not everybody in the technological community is an "evil little hacker." In fact, "evil little hackers" constitute an extremely small percentage of the tech community, probably less than 1%.

        Take the recording industry for example. Contrary to what the government^WRIAA would have you believe, the vast majority of tech-oriented people are people who respect the right of artists to make money. But, of course, some of them have a problem with the cartels that are in place to enforce this. Some of them choose to make their displeasure known in different ways; for example, some of them choose to bypass the system and share mp3s directly between each other. This causes a chain reaction that snowballs into the situation we have now. No telling where it could go next. Regardless of what you think about trading mp3s, the fact is that the situation we have now is a result of a tit-for-tat that has been going on for quite some time between the industry and its consumers. One feels that the other is screwing them over, and takes action. The other doesn't like this action, and takes action of its own in response. Repeat from step 1.

        Despite how blatantly false it is, many people in the government honestly believe that all techies are evil hackers. They then use this to justify passing all sorts of legislation restricting technology. Can you say "DMCA"? Legislators -- even the ones who haven't already been bought out by big corporations -- honestly believe that they are doing good by passing the crap they've been passing. But like I said, this is the result of a huge misconception.

        As sad as it is, our government is run on one thing: money. Legislators tend to listen to whoever pays them the most, and this inevitably turns out to be big corporations. Because the corporations tend to have a strong dislike for techies because of tit-for-tats such as the one mentioned above, they portray them as evil hackers to both the government and the public. This propaganda is quite effective too. Large sections of the population have a negative view of techies, viewing them as "dirty little hackers," which the vast majority are certainly not.

        The only thing I'm wondering now is when big corporations will pull their heads out of their asses and start to actually listen to their customers for a change. If that happens, then hopefully the government will follow suit.
    • So now getting corporate approval is the most open process available. I think I'm going to go be ill now.

      Don't believe it. If you read the analysis, it appears that the corporations are against it too.
  • question (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 23, 2001 @10:29PM (#2605686)
    Here's another one.

    Honestly, are we more afraid of terrorists, or
    our own governments?

    George II says that Terrorists hate freedom, and want to take my freedom away. That isn't true.
    Terrorists can only take my life. Only my government can take my freedom.
  • I mean, it took 'em 25 years to agree on what are the ingredients of chocolate [bbc.co.uk]. :) These states are still sovreign, dont forget. I predict a healthy debate for ratification.
  • The world today seems to be slowly turning into one state.
    Just hundreds of years ago, much of the world was tribal, of based on small kingdoms.. Over the past 20 centuries or so, that's changed, and the rate of change seems to be increasing.
    At each step of the way, there's been trouble with clashes of law and custom as the smaller territories were integrated into the more dominant.
    This treaty seems to be pulling the same kind of disgruntled reactions that have pervaded the assimilation of varying cultures over the years. Each of the signatories will most likely start to press for it's own parochial laws to be followed in all areas.
    However, this will definately cause a lot of foulups. This is bad for business, and relations between countries... And, rather than risk international outcries in the 'in crowd' of signatory nations, it's likely that some form of appeasement will be made. One country doesn't press one law, on the basis that one other law in another country will be persued less vigorously across national boundaries.
    Over time, something arises from the morass which is more or less workable policy. It's a small fragment of what the lawyers have written down on the statute books, but, it's something that can be followed without sinking the whole arrangement completely.
    If it's going to work, people on all sides need to make compromises, and start seeing the larger pictures.. Maybe then, they'll stop getting all picky about the small things.. Just in case everyone then decides to be just as picky on them...
    When things reach this scale, the system more or less follows some kind of sense, despite the lawyers.. Either that, or it falls flat on it's face, and all signatories start to breach the treaty and it fails.
    Either way, it's a rough slog for a while, and then everything goes ok again...

    Just my thoughts,

    Malk
  • notable exceptions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by windows (452268)
    In reading over who signed this treaty, two important nations that were left off were Russia and China. Recently, China and Russia have tried to conform to pressure from western nations, especially the United States, in cracking down on things such as distribution of intellectual property. They've shut down warez and music download sites operating in these countries with pressure from the west. Does anyone know why China and Russia didn't take part in this?
  • ...Article 19 ? Search and seizure of stored computer data

    1. Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to empower its competent authorities to search or similarly access:
    ...

    The bill fails right here, its compentent authorities they say? How can any country/minister that accepts crap like this be called competent?..
    So if they can't be deemed competent they couldn't really enforce something where compentence is a dependancy now can they?

    Is this "the bill of self-glorification with a few extra lines to stop potential terrorists or tech-savvy kids?)
  • I really really really hope that they also include a chapter about network security in the treaty. So many things can be prevented if ISPs setup their network securely...
  • From the text of the treaty: 1. Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to empower its competent authorities to order: a. a person in its territory to submit specified computer data in that person's possession or control, which is stored in a computer system or a computer-data storage medium; That being said, I submit the following scenario: Police: Hand over the data on your hard drive which links you to [Criminal Act X]. Innocent Citizen: I have no such data, since I was not involved in [Criminal Act X]. Police: Since you did not hand over the data, you are in violation of the CyberCrime Treaty. You are under arrest. Come with me.
  • I thought that you could legally clarify spamming as "unauthorized access to a computer system" in some states. If this is true, and this treaty is an "international one" then maybe perhaps something can be done about the thousands of stupid morons that actually believe SPAMMING is an effective and acceptable business practice.

    I'd love to see spammers get labelled "hackers" and smacked down appropriately. However, I do worry about those testing their own network security and those of us that actually *follow* guidelines being persecuted as well. :-(
    • This is probably not workable. Spamming has nothing to do with hacking, or any sort of computer intrusion. It's just emailing lots of people who don't want to be e-mailed. If spamming was labeled as hacking under the current law, e-mailing would be too.

      What is really needed to address the problem you're talking about is a separate law dealing with spam, and not just labeling it as something else which is illegal.
      • It's just emailing lots of people who don't want to be e-mailed.

        In other words, it's just gaining access to people's computers who do not want you to have access to do that. Or to put it differently, it is gaining unauthorized access to their computers. Computer intrusion, as you would put it.

        If spamming was labeled as hacking under the current law, e-mailing would be too.

        Wrong again. If someone wants to contact me for a valid reason, they are certainly authorized to do so. Spam, however, is NOT a valid reason. You could set out concrete rules if you wanted to, but again, spam is not an authorized use of my inbox.
        • In other words, it's just gaining access to people's computers who do not want you to have access to do that.

          How do you figure? Spamming someone does not in any way allow you to access the information on their computer, to read it, change it, or anything else.

          As for my other comment, I believe it stands. Is there a current _legal_ difference between e-mailing someone who wants to receive it, and e-mailing a thousand people who don't?
  • A Topical Essay (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by goingware (85213)
    Is This the America I Love? [goingware.com].

    I loved America for what it stood for.

    I was told that things like political persecution, detainment without trial, and beating of prisoners were things that happened in other countries, that they would never happen in America. I was told that we fought the American Revolution and wrote the Constitution specifically to ensure such things would never again happen in America.

  • by 3seas (184403) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @12:14AM (#2605912) Journal
    With such changes happening so quickly it becomes clear that part of
    the responsibility of the law makers is to make these new laws known
    to the people and in a form they can understand and even more important,
    accept.

    I don't want to have to read some damn encylopedia on human made
    digital law in order to then try and figure out what I can and can't
    do.

    Computers are a versatile tool and it's bad enough that there are those
    who don't want to solve the "software crisis", but to put more and more
    constraints of what can and cannot be done is not going to help find
    solutions to problems many claim they want to solve.

    Seems to me that the growing conflict of interest is going to get worse
    and as a result there will be a cyber war. A war between those who want
    to put great constraint on who can do what vs. those who know better and
    want to use computers to their fullest productive potential.

    If being productive becomes illegal, then it'll be easy to see who the
    real criminals are, and who outnumbers who. Atlas Shrugged.

    "Cannot" based IP laws are going to have to be changed to "can" based
    law that rewards those genuinely responsible for new and good things.

    So what there is to do now is to start figuring out how to deal with this
    growing conflict of interest that's building up to war levels, and the
    governments most certainly know it.

    Can't let them get away with creating laws that they can then interpret
    how ever the hell they want to. Thus the requirement of them to clearly
    define these laws in terms the general public can understand and to
    publish them for the public to genuinely see.

    Otherwise it's not ignorance of the law, but rather failure to inform on
    the part of the law makers and their supporters. What could be construed
    as entrapment.

    To start with, all products that have some sort of builtin mechanism that
    prevents such things as fair use, need to have a clear and obvious label
    regarding such, otherwise it is bait and switch advertising deception. The
    sort of thing that wrongly subverts knowledgeable consumer choice.

    Last I looked, bait and switch is very illegal, and there is a consumer
    choice reason for it. Hence, there should be no supprises by the music
    industry in including copy protection, by having such copy protection
    mentioned and clearly viewable on the label.

    The laws being created don't appear to be very honest or fair, and in fact
    may very well break some laws. So who really are the criminals?

    Did those supporting Hitler see him as a criminal?

    Maybe it's time for the OSS community to begin writing more realistic
    laws. So that when the time comes, there will be something to replace the
    laws made by criminals, with. Start thinking "CAN" based IP laws that reward
    the creators of values, rather then some organization that supposedly represents
    them! For in the digital world great effencies can be achieved by removing alot of
    fat.
    .
    .
    • To start with, all products that have some sort of builtin mechanism that

      prevents such things as fair use, need to have a clear and obvious label

      I'd like to see it be the choice of the producer: claim copyright and allow full access, or don't claim copyright and take your chances with whatever technological access controls you can devise. Breaking access controls shouldn't be illegal, which makes it time limited just like copyright, except once it's broken, you can't do shit about it, you already gave up your copyright.
      • Works for me, especially if things are made easier for the typical user to make use of and even alter the code to fit their specific needs. Thus making open access an extra value to the consumer/user.

        Certainly this would be a big winning plus in the game of compitition.

        .
  • big surprise (Score:1, Insightful)

    by rambot (466616)
    Its just like politicians to do something bogus like this, using a situation like sept11 to put a pile of crap like this into legislation in the name of anti-terrorism. How many references to anti-terrorism are on the treaty? It's all about fairly vauge descriptions of what is to be considered a crime..primarily "hacking" of all kinds. Did I miss something here? What does hacking have to do with sept11? What does hacking have to do with terrorism from the middle east? YOU CAN'T ENFORCE THESE LAWS ON TERRORISTS!!! Just like this isn't a criminal issue..this is a 'war against terrorist/the evil do'ers'

    This is all about.. ok, we need to stop terrorist hackers with stiff laws and punishments. These laws and punishments are not designed for our terrorist enemies, they are designed for our own citizens. Who is the enemy here??? It's pretty obvious that they didn't give a DAMN what the citizens of this so called democratic (i know...its really a republic) nation thought.

    I love my country, but I fear my government. Now more than ever.
  • by jonabbey (2498) <jonabbey@ganymeta.org> on Saturday November 24, 2001 @12:49AM (#2605985) Homepage

    By all means, write your congresspeople, but for god's sake send a check in to the EFF [eff.org] already, willya?

    Talking about this stuff on slashdot is useless if that's as far as it goes. Scream and shout, get involved, etc., etc., etc.

    Please?

  • by Bonker (243350) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @12:50AM (#2605986)
    Sayeth the article:

    That's the prospect that has pushed AT&T Corporation and other high-technology companies into feverishly trying to stop, or at least soften, the treaty. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Information Technology Association of America also oppose it.

    IANAL, but I've been watching the progress of the Cybercrime treaty as it's evolved. I've never had very much fear of it being ratified precisely because of the above statement.

    The same forces that most civil libretarians usually hate, ie... heavy corporate soft-money donations in order to influence laws that favor them, will actually work *for* those who care about seeing this treaty fall by the wayside.

    It's very simple. If the treaty is ratified and the U.S. passes laws in order to uphold its obligations under the treaty, then the monetary cost to business such as the big telecom carriers like ATT and MCI-Worldcom, ISP's, biggie conglomerates such as AOL-TW, MSFT, and others will be very high. These costs will come from having to hire many, many extra individuals to perform the kind of monitoring and checking necessary, installing the hardware and software to make that monitoring possible, and a host of other, unforseen costs.

    These companies will spend a lot of money on Congress in the short run in order to block this treaty's ratification... and the Bush administration will probably be very receptive as well. So far the Bush administration has heavily favored these businesses. Bill G. can attest to this. This same kind of thing has happened before... notably with the Kyoto accords. Don't think that it can't happen here just because of the pressure the DOJ is putting behind it.
    • Ultimately, what it means is that though the internet was born of freedom, it is going to be controlled by a few companies which have bandwidth, and a few companies which provide access to that bandwidth through their software. The fun thing is that all the content companies will be keen to reach this deal, as they have been shutting down many sites for file sharing....
    • Just like they were able to stop the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which required that they provide easy and central bugging for all phone service?

      Their big complaint then was, of course, that changing all their networks would be expensive. All their lobbying got them was a $5 billion grant, which ultimately turned out to be a tiny fraction of their total costs.
  • I see it now:
    The DOJ lets Microsoft off.

    and now this (please make note of my cynicism):
    treaty designed to make tracking and prosecuting 'hackers' easier and more efficient.

    So long as they use Microsoft Word and Windows XP we can find them anywhere.

    What exactly is defined as 'hacker' is something I haven't been able to find out.

    That is easy, they stand out.

    Say in a loud voice: "Napster baaaad!", "No Soup for YOU!", "WOOT", "Hey, where's the 'any' key".
    Whoever laughs, smirks, or chuckles is a "hacker".

    Listen for strange words such as: "haxor", "linux", "quake", "wolfenstein" "all your base are belong to us" or "comdex"...highly suspect.

    If those don't reveal any "hackers", announce "free stuffed penguins being given away at location XXX". Arrest anyone who arrives.

    Why was the public not made aware of this until it was done?
    They were informed. Just go to any jail and look for someone holding a penguin, and ask.

    Want a stuffed penguin? I know where you can get one for free! WOOT!...now who could that be at the door at this hour?
  • Here are just a few articles from 2001. All were mentioned in Privacy Digest [privacydigest.com] .

    Political News from Wired News [wired.com] - Cybercrime Treaty Finally Ready [wired.com]. After four years of haggling over the language, several countries including the United States will sign a cybercrime treaty.

    WildernessCoast.org - Cybercrime Treaty Bibliography -- By Date [wildernesscoast.org]. A wide collection of links that talk about the Cybercrime Treaty Same info sorted by title [wildernesscoast.org].

    Council of Europe - Convention on Cybercrime [coe.int].

    The Convention on Cybercrime has been adopted by the Committee of Ministers during its 109th Session, on 8 November 2001 and will be opened for signature, in Budapest, on 23 November 2001.

    The Convention will be the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. It also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception.

    Its main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation.

    The Convention is the product of four years of work by Council of Europe experts, but also by the United States, Canada, Japan and other countries which are not members of the organisation.

    It will be supplemented by an additional protocol making any publication of racist and xenophobic propaganda via computer networks a criminal offence.

    Political News from Wired News [wired.com] - Europe Slaving Over Cybercrime [wired.com]. The Council of Europe has been working on it for four years and has gone through 25 drafts. And its proposed international treaty on cybercrime is still running against all those thorny privacy issues.

    [ ... ]

    But Fred Eisner, a consultant for the Dutch government and private companies, said the draft made unfair demands on Internet service providers by asking them to track Web users' online movements.

    "This draft convention lacks balance," Eisner told the assembly. "The convention explicitly gives much more power to law enforcement agencies and it has no system of checks and balances."

    Bruce McConnell, president of McConnell International, a Washington-based consulting firm, said the treaty should be more forceful in protecting the privacy of Web users who are already worried about being spied on.

    "There is concern that the powers of surveillance ... are not balanced by comparable protections for individuals' privacy," he said.

    By Mike Godwin [panix.com] to the Cyberia-L mailing list - Treaty on Cybercrime Sounds Like A Great Idea, Until You Read The Fine Print [cryptome.org]. This message archived on cryptome.org

    Maybe you trust the law-enforcement chiefs in D.C. to do the right thing. But here's the catch. The same new powers given to the United States will also handed over to Bulgaria, Romania, Azerbaijan, and other Council of Europe nations that-although officially democratic now-don't have a strong traditions of checks and balances on police power.

    Do you want investigators rummaging around your clients' computer systems on warrants issued by former Soviet bloc nations?

    That's the prospect that has pushed AT&T Corporation and other high-technology companies into feverishly trying to stop or at least soften the treaty. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Information Technology Association of America also oppose it.

    Stewart Baker is one of the chief lobbyists for the treaty opponents. As a former general counsel of the National Security Agency [nsa.gov] and recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, he's got street cred on these issues in corporate America.

    What worries Baker and his colleagues? Consider the following hypothetical: A Los Angeles screenwriter corresponds by e-mail with a neo-Nazi in Germany while researching a script. Shortly after, he finds federal agents examining the files on his home computer. The agents also visit America Online Inc. to retrieve records of the screenwriter's AOL usage.

    The agents are fulfilling a warrant issued by German authorities allowing them to search for Nazi propaganda. Such material is unlawful in Germany but not in the U.S. They framed their warrant in terms of "suspected terrorist activity."

    Slashdot | Your Rights Online: Reading the Fine Print on the Cybercrime Treaty [slashdot.org]. Mike Godwin, Former Counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org] and author of Cyber Rights writes about a new international treaty on cybercrime [cryptome.org] known as the "Convention on Cybercrime."

    LAW.com (requires cookies) - International Treaty on Cybercrime Poses Burden on High-Tech Companies [law.com].

    Maybe you're a civil libertarian, and maybe you're not. Maybe you worry about how the United States exercises its vast investigative and prosecutorial powers, and maybe you don't.

    But if you counsel U.S. corporations on computer-related issues, you should be concerned about a new proposed treaty known as the "Convention on Cybercrime." The Council of Europe, a 43-nation public body created to promote democracy and the rule of law, is nominally drafting the treaty. Curiously, however, the primary architect is the U.S. Department of Justice.

    The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation are using a foreign forum to create an international law-enforcement regime that favors the interests of the feds over those of ordinary citizens and businesses. Their goal is to make it easier to get evidence from abroad and to extradite and prosecute foreign nationals for certain kinds of crimes.

    Maybe you trust the law-enforcement chiefs in D.C. to do the right thing. But here's the catch. The same new powers given to the United States will also be handed over to Bulgaria, Romania, Azerbaijan, and other Council of Europe nations that -- although officially democratic now -- don't have a strong tradition of checks and balances on police power.

    [ ... ]

    Stewart Baker, a partner at Washington, D.C.'s Steptoe & Johnson, is one of the chief lobbyists for the treaty's opponents. As a former general counsel of the National Security Agency [nsa.gov] and recipient of the U.S. Department of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, he's got street credentials on these issues in corporate America.

    Article was originally carried by: cryptome.org - Treaty on Cybercrime Sounds Like A Great Idea, Until You Read The Fine Print [cryptome.org].

    Slashdot | Implications Of The International Cybercrime Treaty [slashdot.org].

    SiliconValley.com part of San Jose Mercury News [mercurycenter.com] - Pioneer cybercrime pact tightens privacy rules [siliconvalley.com].

    MS-NBC [msnbc.com] - Pioneer cybercrime pact tightens privacy rules [msnbc.com]. PARIS, May 25 -- Stiff criticism from the EU and pressure groups has prompted drafters of the world's first treaty against cybercrime to tighten provisions protecting privacy online, the final text showed Friday.

    [ ... ]

    Against EU objections, it also limits the right of a country to reject a request from abroad to store and hand over data in potential crime cases if the requesting country thinks it could be misused.

    The text says states should make sure that systems operators or other people who know how to use a certain system can be ordered to cooperate in any such a cyberprobe.

    digitalMass at Boston.com - Pioneer Cybercrime Pact Tightens Privacy Rules [boston.com].

    PARIS (Reuters) - Stiff criticism from the EU and pressure groups has prompted drafters of the world's first treaty against cybercrime to tighten provisions protecting privacy online, the final text showed on Friday.

    The Council of Europe, a 43-state human rights watchdog, has amended the text to ensure police respect privacy rights when they follow digital trails to fight online crimes such as hacking, spreading viruses, using stolen credit card numbers or defrauding banks.

    ''The guarantees in the treaty have been reinforced,'' Peter Csonka, deputy head of the economic crime division at the Council's headquarters in Strasbourg, told Reuters after the Council posted the final text -- version 27 -- on its Web site.

    But the treaty, which has aroused heated debate in cyberspace since its draft text became public last year, ignored calls by Internet service providers (ISPs) for fewer costly requirements on preserving data that could be linked to a crime.

    It still accorded police wide powers to chase suspected cybercriminals -- powers some critics say go beyond what is legal in some Council member states or in observer countries like the United States, Canada and Japan due to sign the treaty.

    Europemedia.net: News - Final cybercrime draft heeds privacy concerns [europemedia.net]. There is still some controversy surrounding the draft. The last version didn't cut down on the requirements for preserving data that could be linked to a crime as ISPs had hoped, and some feel it still allows police too much power when fighting cybercrime.

    ZDNet - Internet founder worried over EU cybercrime plans [zdnet.com].

    BRUSSELS --Vint Cerf, a founding father of today's Internet, said on Thursday that European Union plans for new rules to fight crime on the Web risked clashing with existing EU privacy regulations.

    Cerf, who helped develop the Internet in the early 70s shortly after graduating from Stanford University and now works for WorldCom, said more secure network systems were an immediate priority for the successful development of the ubiquitous Web.

    He told Reuters in an interview that Internet traffic should be retained only for billing purposes and was too cumbersome to be stored for police investigations.

    BBC News | SCI/TECH | Treaty 'could stifle online privacy' [bbc.co.uk].

    Changes to a controversial treaty on cybercrime [coe.int] have done nothing to improve it, say civil liberty campaigners.

    Next week, the Council of Europe [coe.int] will vote on the treaty, which has been redrafted 26 times before reaching its final version late in May.

    The most recent changes were made to take into account the fears of civil liberty and privacy campaigners. But cyber-rights groups say the latest changes are purely cosmetic and have not diluted what they describe as its most pernicious sections.

    The groups say that, if adopted in its current form, the treaty could lead to changes in legislation that would stifle rights to privacy and do little to curb the activities of law enforcement agencies.

    [ ... ]

    In December 2000, 23 organisations, banding together under the banner of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign (GILC [gilc.org]), signed a letter condemning the 25th draft of the treaty as "appalling", and warned that it handed law enforcement agencies sweeping powers to snoop and could seriously erode online privacy.

    Now, three civil liberty groups, the American Civil Liberties Union [aclu.org], the Electronic Privacy Information Center [epic.org] and Privacy International [privacyinternational.org], have sent another letter to the Council of Europe outlining their "continuing concerns" over the wording of the treaty and saying that their fears have not been laid to rest.

    The letter chastises the Council of Europe for refusing to open up the redrafting debates to non-governmental organisations and for, it says, ignoring the human rights and privacy concerns of organisations such as the GILC [gilc.org].

    It goes on to say that the original criticisms still stand, and that the treaty does not pay enough attention to existing laws which safeguard human rights. It says the treaty's recommendations on protecting privacy are vague and do not go far enough.

    IT-director.com - Industry brands cybercrime treaty 'a con trick' [it-director.com]. It's tough, but they've managed to please none of the people, none of the time...

    IT industry gurus have branded the Council of Europe [coe.int]'s Convention on Cybercrime 'foolish, unworkable and a legal con trick'.

    The controversial treaty provides a blanket legislation to deal with all forms of internet crime from hacking to online pornography.

    Caspar Bowden, director of internet think-tank FIPR, said: "The Convention is essentially a legal con trick, drafted in secret by a handful of nameless bureaucrats. It equates the internet - a network of private networks - with 'cyberspace', a metaphor from science fiction.

    "By this sleight of hand, the internet is defined as a public space over which law enforcement should be granted unfettered powers of surveillance and extradition," he added.

    CNET NEWS.COM [news.com] - Global treaty could transform Web [cnet.com]. Latest Hague convention could thwart free speech and force ISPs to police networks

    International policy-makers this week ended a round of talks aimed at setting common rules affecting online trade and commerce, but they made little progress in bridging divisions that threaten to delay the pact.

    In the works for nearly a decade, the Hague Convention on Jurisdiction and Foreign Judgments is still almost unknown outside international policy circles. Nevertheless, it could have broad implications for consumers and businesses by setting new rules for online copyrights, free speech and e-commerce--if it is approved.

    Opposition to the treaty heated up Wednesday, when a two-week drafting session wrapped up with few concessions to critics, primarily from the United States, who say the pact threatens free speech and could force Internet service providers to become global content police.

    "In a nutshell, it will strangle the Internet with a suffocating blanket of overlapping jurisdictional claims, expose every Web page publisher to liabilities for libel, defamation and other speech offenses from virtually any country, (and) effectively strip Internet service providers of protections from litigation over the content they carry," Jamie Love, director of Ralph Nader's Consumer Project on Technology (CPT), wrote in a report after the meeting.

    The treaty is one of several efforts by the global community to grapple with a complicated legal issues on a borderless Web.

    Four years ago, nations including the United States signed onto a World Intellectual Property Organization pact to protect copyright in the digital age. And several countries, including the United States, are hammering out the world's first cybercrime [coe.int] treaty, which would provide a standard for fighting online crime.

    The Hague treaty differs from those efforts because it would not outline specific laws participants must follow. It's much broader, requiring participants to agree to enforce each others' laws on a variety of topics. As it stands, the treaty would require courts to enforce the commercial laws of the convention's 52 member nations, even if they prohibit actions that are legal under local laws.

    New York Times [nytimes.com] - free registration required Council of Europe Signs Draft Cybercrime Treaty [nytimes.com].

    BRUSSELS - The blueprint for a global code on Cyber-crime [coe.int] was agreed on in Strasbourg, France, Friday, paving the way for international rules governing online copyright infringement, online fraud, child pornography and hacking.

    The 41 members of the Council of Europe [coe.int] (CoE), plus the U.S., Canada and Japan, signed on to a draft convention on cybercrime that is set to be rubber-stamped at ministerial level in September.

    "Once adopted, the Convention will be the first international treaty on criminal offenses committed through the use of Internet and other computer networks," the Council of Europe said in a statement.

    ISPWorld - (Reuters) International Cyber-Sleuths Demand New Powers [ispworld.com].

    In September, the Council of Europe [coe.int] approved the Convention on cybercrime [coe.int], a historic treatise that lays the foundation for legislation allowing for a greater sharing of information between countries to combat the rise of cybercrime.

    The treatise isn't binding, but instead would have to be adopted into law by its 43 European member states and five outside countries including the United States, Canada and Japan.

    The treaty is broad, covering crimes committed on the Internet such as fraud, child pornography and violations of computer network security. It also sets up global policing procedures for conducting computer searches, interception of e-mails, and extradition of criminal suspects.

    More details on the CyberCrime Treaty can be found in the Privacy Digest [privacydigest.com] archives dated September 26,2000 [privacydigest.com], September 27,2000 [privacydigest.com], October 09,2000 [privacydigest.com], October 16,2000 [privacydigest.com], October 18,2000 [privacydigest.com], October 19,2000 [privacydigest.com], October 25,2000 [privacydigest.com], November 14,2000 [privacydigest.com], November 20,2000 [privacydigest.com], November 22,2000 [privacydigest.com] and March 24,2001 [privacydigest.com]. This is not all the information at Privacy Digest [privacydigest.com] and other sites so if you want to know more try a search

  • Nothing clever, witty, sensational here - just a statement and a plain straight-up plea for collective common sense.

    There is NO DOUBT that there is an organized Establishment effort to kill freedom on the Net, to minimize the Net "commons", the general free zone that fuelled the Net Dream-turned-DotCom-Boom, and seems to have survived the Bust...so far.

    There is NO VISUAL RALLYING SYMBOL to represent modern awareness of and opposition to threats to Net freedom, something like the blue ribbon of years ago that showed an apparently broadbased support for a Net freedom cause. This necessary symbol must exist, but it can't just BE, it has to POINT to a fully-equipped site to turn to for more.

    There is NO PLACE TO TURN for an individual who wishes to help protect Net freedom, a one-stop site with comprehensive, readable info, and, above all, the ability to match a person's level of interest with an effective channel for action: places to learn more, make a donation, send a petition or letter, make a REALLY BIG DONATION, volunteer time and skills, offer a lifetime of commitment to an aspect of the cause.

    A fair while ago, I read an article. in suck or Salon, describing how the geek community was busy primping and glowing and preparing to bask in the radiance of the Brave New Net World they were building, while DC lobbyists were pounding through Net legislation designed for the future, to take control when things had shaken out. It mentioned 1,500 pieces of Net legislation being lobbied for in DC, or maybe that was 1,500 corporate Net lobbyists, or both. And that was then.

    The DotCom Bubble has Burst - an occurrence I think of as less bad luck, bad ideas and bad business, and more a case of young talent being given enough rope (read: cash) to hang themselves, thus neutralizing a new competitive wave - an "accidentally on purpose" kind of thing. Still, "Net people", geeks, whatever, seem every bit as vocal these days about Net rights, and as passive on a practical level as before. AND beaten down by the Bust to boot.

    It's clear that, today, there is no separation between code, coding, using code, and having access to code or to code-driven products: be it game boxes or more-or-less uncensored, open online communication. And the Net is the Code Superhighway that we're all traveling, sans speed limits and toolbooths, checkpoints and national borders...so far.

    What? Do you read this and, MAYBE, go, "Yeah, this sounds right, and I should help do something about it"...and then click on? Am I doing the same, only a little less efficiently, by writing this message? What will you do?

  • Keep in Mind... (Score:4, Informative)

    by apc (193970) on Saturday November 24, 2001 @01:53AM (#2606113)
    That citizens of the US get two shots at opposing this treaty. Under Constitutional law, you need a *2/3* majority in the Senate to pass a treaty. (Such basic bits of International Law as the 1965 Vienna Convention on Treaties, which defines standards for, well, treaties, have never been passed by the US Senate) It's hard to get 2/3 of the Senate to agree on anything, including Evil Nefarious Hackers.

    We also get a second shot, since this treaty requires enabling legislation to operate. (ie, in legalese, it's not self-executing) Let's get organized, people. Call (and I guess email, since written letters are being ignored because of the anthrax attacks) your Senators (to start with), and if that doesn't work, call your congresspeople.

    -APC
    (IANALY, but am about six weeks away from a post-grad degree in International Law prior to taking the bar)
    • Is this the same two-shot system that the US people used to ratify WTO membership and activities.

      No doubt, this is a matter of mixing apples and bananas, but I thought I'd ask...
    • Since US law defines some sorts of cryptgraphic software as "munitions", wouldn't that be covered by the Second Ammendment? We are no longer in the age when a flintlock musket was all the self-defense a person needed. This treaty is exactly about that: information is a weapon, and they want to use that weapon against criminals.


      The Second Ammendment is still valid as one Constitutional article that allows people to use force, if necessary, to defend themselves against an oppressive government. If that opression is done by information control, the US citizens have the constitutional right to use any methods that are necessary (including hacking or crypto software) to fight that oppresion.

  • All you guys that were lucky enough to get the Netpliace (before the stockholders got wind) had better throw out your boxes! Box hacking is a thing of the past now. Screw fair use.
    -Bob
  • Article 5 - System interference

    "Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offences under its domestic law, when committed intentionally, the serious hindering without right of the functioning of a computer system by inputting, transmitting, damaging, deleting, deteriorating, altering or suppressing computer data."

    Does that mean that Windows will become illegal?
  • The treaty has supporters, of course. The Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry of America Association, and the Business Software Alliance all favor the treaty's requirement that certain large-scale copyright infringements be handled under criminal law. In general, such "attacks" are now handled under civil law in most countries.

    The International Entertainment police will now be throwing you in the clink, for using encryptionless P2P technology, which is working on being made illegal in the UK [ntk.net], as quoted from NTK.

    The Tories are proposing an amendment that will attempt to ensure that no data will be "disclosed to any private individual or organisation without responsibilities for
    national security." A nice idea, which means that not even the owner of the traffic data will be able to see what's held on them. And did we say ISPs will be keeping this data? Oh, sorry, we mean "a person who provides a postal service or a telecommunications service". By the legal definition of telecommunications service, you'll be pleased to know that your P2P file-sharing client falls into that category. Hope you're keeping those logs nice and neat for the kindly
    policeman.

    Jack will be mighty dissapointed when he finds linux fanatics don't steal IP, they hack their own and enjoy sharing their own. valenti and company will never be able to compete with the spirit of the GPL, not in a million years.

    I wonder if good ol' country boy Jack will be happy if people started to get shot, all in the name of IP enforcement.
  • by cbnewman (106449)
    salon has a link here [salon.com]
  • "Do you want investigators rummaging around your clients' computer systems on warrants issued by former Soviet-bloc nations?"
    "A Los Angeles screenwriter corresponds by e-mail with a neo-Nazi in Germany while researching a script. Shortly after, the screenwriter finds federal agents examining the files on his home computer."

    Actually, I don't care much about the Russians searching my computers. what I care more about is that American authorities will break in here, violate basic privacy rights (seems normal for the USA to do that) and lock me up before they realize that all the MP3s on my hard disk are my own band recordings.

    (Russians wouldn't know what MP3s are anyway. ;)

    But this article at law.com seems (to me) very typical for the USA. They picture European countries as 'the evil ones', while assuming that we would have absolutely no problems with American authorities playing king kong on our private premises.

    The USA even just blindy assumes it's OK to apply their laws to deeds that were done on other continents months ago, with no connection whatsoever to the USA legislation.

    This is just very few people in the USA that are causing this 'anti-Americanism' among many European countries. These need to get real. They need to realize there are more than 51 states in the world, and that we do have electricity and TVs. (OK, that was exaggerated, but you get the point.)

    </rant>

  • I love how many of these laws have that "if a computer is involved." Going on.

    There is a whole section dedicated to kiddie porn.

    I suppose that it's worse when some HS kid hits an IRC room for underage pics (even though he's underage), than when some dirty old man passes around polaroids.
  • When I heard about the WTC collapse, I rejoiced. It's good to see that so many agree that the arrogant fucks in the US finally got what they deserved.

    Maybe sifting through the dismembered corpses of your women and children will teach you that you can no longer consider yourself world policemen and interfere in the business of others.
  • 11. The new committee's specific terms of reference were as follows:

    ii. cyber-space offences, in particular those committed through the use of telecommunication networks, e.g. the Internet, such as illegal money transactions, offering illegal services, violation of copyright, as well as those which violate human dignity and the protection of minors;

    Damn! This means no more 40year-old-overweight-balding-guy-in-diapers pr0n doesn't it?

  • The treaty is quite vague (as legislative text is always) and I'm too lazy to read it well enough. I'm just wondering if this means if this means that while my MP3 collection is perfectly legal in Finland (sharing publicly is not, but downloading and storing is), I could be prosecuted in another country where it isn't? Sick. Otherwise it doesn't seem to add much to existing copyright treaties and the rest of the articles don't seem all that bad. (Which doesn't mean the treaty isn't evil.)
  • The Law.com article is wrong. Nothing in the treaty requires countries to allow warrants to issue from foreign judges or allow countries to exercise jurisdiction over foreign residents short of cooperative extradition for serious computer offenses against the law in BOTH countries.

    If it did, any implementing legislation would be seriously unconstitutional in the United States.
  • Ironically, this treaty would represent an enormous threat to corporate security. I don't see why any organization whose operation requires keeping certain things secret, in particular any closed-source software company, would consider operating in any nation signatory to this treaty.

    Consider: Company A in country XYZ, signatory to the treaty, produces a software / digital encryption scheme / computer chip / etc. that they maintain as a trade secret. Company B in country ABC, also signatory to the treaty, would like a look at it. Company B places a few bribes in the police organizations of ABC and gets a warrant for the examination of company A's trade secret.

    Essentially, this makes all nations who sign the treaty subject to the practices of the most corrupt government among them.

  • I just finished reading the treaty and IMGINAL (I Am Glad I'm Not A Lawyer) alo it dosent seem that bad its up to each country to implement the laws and that will take forever w/ the US system and hopefully the laws will be revised so as to not limit our personal freedoms

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