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International: EFF and partners provide recommendations for draft Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime

The Electronic Frontier Foundation ('EFF') announced, on 14 September 2021, together with the European Digital Rights ('EDRi'), the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic ('CIPPIC'), and other civil society organisations noting their recommendations to strengthen human rights protections in the draft Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime drafted by the Council of Europe. In particular, the EFF noted that at a virtual hearing before the CoE Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, EFF Policy Director for Global Privacy Katitza Rodriguez presented a summary of the concerns the EFF and their partners have about the treaty's weak privacy and human rights safeguards. In addition, Katitza outlined the following areas of concern in regards to the draft:

  • Protecting Online Anonymity - "Substantively, we have concerns regarding Article 7 of the Protocol, which permits direct access by law enforcement in one country to subscriber identity information held by a company in another country. In our opinion, Article 7 fails to provide, or excludes, critical safeguards contained in many national laws.";

  • Raising the Bar for Data Protection - "When it comes to Article 14's data protection safeguards, we have asked that the Protocol be amended so that signatories may refuse to apply its most intrusive powers (Articles 6, 7 and 12) when dealing with any other signatory that has not also ratified Convention 108+."; and

  • Make Joint Investigative Team Limitations Explicit - "Under Article 12, signatories can form joint investigative teams that can bypass core existing frameworks such as the [mutual legal assistance treaty] regime when using highly intrusive cross-border investigative techniques or when transferring personal information between team members. We have asked that the Protocol be amended so that some of its core intended limitations are made explicit."

You can read the press release here.