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Cybercrime pact steps on privacy, groups say
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Civil-liberties groups blasted Wednesday a proposed treaty designed to build an international framework for fighting computer crime, saying it favored law enforcement at the expense of individual privacy.
The Global Internet Liberty Campaign, a coalition of 30 human-rights and technology groups, said the proposed Convention on Cyber Crime would undermine network security, reduce government accountability and improperly lengthen the reach of law enforcement.
The coalition, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, voiced its concerns in a letter to the head of the 41-nation Council of Europe, which is wrapping up work on the treaty after more than a decade. The United States has endorsed the gist of the pact.
Several aspects of the treaty "could lead to a chilling effect on the free flow of ideas," the letter said.
Separately, the Center for Democracy and Technology, a civil-liberties group funded by the high-tech industry, said the proposed treaty would expand government powers to investigate and monitor all sorts of crimes, not just those related to online activities.
"In substantial part, the convention is not about 'cyber-crime,' it is about surveillance authority and trans-border cooperation for all types of crimes," the center said in a news release.
The treaty could allow governments to set design standards to allow them to monitor easily digital communications systems, stifling industry independence, the center said.
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German officials warn of Net 'Big Brother'
Global Internet Liberty Campaign
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