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U.S. defends cybercrime treaty

Critics took aim this week at a controversial international treaty intended to facilitate cross-boarder computer crime probes, arguing that it would obligate the U.S. and other signatories to cooperate with repressive regimes–a charge that the Justice Department denied. The U.S. is one of 38 nations that have signed onto the Council of Europe’s “Convention on Cybercrime,” but the U.S. Senate has not yet ratified the measure. In a letter to the Senate last November, President Bush called the pact “the only multilateral treaty to address the problems of computer-related crime and electronic evidence gathering.” The treaty, “would remove or minimize legal obstacles to international cooperation that delay or endanger U.S. investigations and prosecutions of computer-related crime,” said Bush. Drafted under strong U.S. influence, the treaty aims to harmonize computer crime laws around the world by obliging participating countries to outlaw computer intrusion, child pornography, commercial copyright infringement, and online fraud. Full Story

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