Privacy International’s Comments on the Revised Draft Text of the UN Cybercrime Convention (November 2023)

In this briefing, Privacy International (PI) outlines its analysis of some key provisions on the Revised Draft Text of the UN Cybercrime Convention, with the aim to provide delegations of Member States and other stakeholders with our recommendations to strengthen the draft and to bring it in line with human rights law. This briefing builds upon the submissions made by PI at the previous sessions of the AHC and reflects upon some of the amendments proposed by Member States. While not aiming to be comprehensive, it covers in particular the following Articles: 3, 5, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 35, 36, 47 and 54.

Key advocacy points

The current draft is too broad in scope and would allow States to adopt measures that would undermine human rights protection. This is not an abstract concern: domestic cybercrime laws have been used to violate human rights and certain provisions of the current draft would give States an opportunity to justify their abusive laws on policies. In particular, PI is concerned about the potential misuse of provisions relating to surveillance and data collection, and calls for stringent safeguards to prevent abuse. We urge States to ensure that the treaty does not become a tool for governments with a poor human rights record to justify human rights abuses under the guise of combating cybercrime.