The international community needs a unified legal base to combat information crimes (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Amid the rapid advance in technologies we face a growing number of cyber-crimes: in 2016, these offences caused damage of $445 billion and by 2020, according to experts, this figure can reach up to $3 trillion, exceeding the overall income received from the Internet.

It is obvious that addressing information crime requires effective international legal mechanisms. Unfortunately, the international community has yet to develop a unified approach to dealing with these issues. The existing Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime (also known as the Budapest Convention) was drawn up at the beginning of the digital age and many threats were either unknown or given little attention to. And some provisions of the Convention are truly unacceptable. According to Article 32 a State Party may be obtain trans-border access to an information source located in another country without notifying the latter’s authorities. It causes serious concerns and creates grounds for violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms in the digital space, in particular the right to privacy.

Russia continues to call on the international community to start taking decisive steps to combat information crimes. We have presented a UN draft Convention on Cooperation in Combating Information Crimes modeled on relevant UN Conventions to address the existing problems, while paying respect for the sovereignty of the States Parties. The draft underlines the coordinating role of the UN in training and providing broad technical assistance in the implementation of programmes and projects to combat information crimes.

The Russian draft enjoys an increasing support of the international community and we expect other countries, including the UK, to engage constructively in creating a unified approach to combating cyber-crimes.