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G8 concludes Tokyo high-tech crime meeting

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By Kuriko Miyake

(IDG) -- The G8 Group of the world's seven leading industrial nations and Russia made progress on an action plan to battle high-tech crime at a meeting in Tokyo last week.

The G8 Government/Private Sector High Level Meeting on High-tech Crime, held in Tokyo from May 22 to 24, covered five major themes in a series of workshops: data retention, data preservation, threat assessment and prevention, protection of electronic commerce, and user authentication and training.

Traffic and subscriber-related data retention under the force of law may help facilitate the tracing of criminals and terrorists on the Internet -- but each country should be careful when deciding upon legislation, said Toru Maruhashi, a U.S.-based lawyer and general manager of the legal department at Nifty, a major Japanese Internet service provider.

 

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"[Legislation] needs to concern human rights and privacy and should not be done easily just because it can control the crime," Maruhashi said.

The distribution of illegal content, such as child pornography, on the Internet was another hot topic. Such distribution can be stopped only at the end-user level, said Jean-Christophe Le Toquin of the French Internet Access and Service Providers Association. Participants will take back information on the issue exchanged during the meeting in order to find domestic solutions. These national-level solutions can then be used to set an international standard, he said.

The meeting also concluded that better security on electronic commerce needs to be established against crime such as credit-card fraud on the Internet. Participants recommended the creation of a G8 electronic-commerce Web site that would offer a guide to conducting safer transactions, according to the facilitator of the workshop, Michael Rotert of the Electronic Commerce Forum.

Discussions on issues related to high-tech crime began with the G8 conference in Paris last May, and were continued to the G8 Berlin meeting in October. The G8 Tokyo meeting reconfirmed the importance of the relationship between governments and the private sector, and cooperation across borders, not only between G8 countries but with others too. Further discussions will take place at the upcoming Genoa summit in July this year, according to the report.

The meeting was sponsored by the Senior Experts Group on Transnational Organized Crime, also known as the Lyon Group because it submitted its first report at the G8 summit in Lyon, France, in 1996. The group has been engaging in achieving solutions to technical and legal issues to combat transnational organized crime including high-tech crime.








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