This treaty deals with a number of matters, some of which are just designed to address issue which are already illegal, such as child pornography and pædophilia, just with a technological slant. Some of it relates to computer or network specific crimes, such as computer intrusion and denial of service attacks. Some of it, however, deals with expanding the powers of law enforcement agencies to intercept data traffic and to retain logs of all online activity for possible future use by law enforcement.
Colin Jacobs, from Electronic Frontiers Australia, attempts to address some of the many ways this treaty will adversely affect civil liberties and privacy issues in particular. While Nigel Phair, from the Surete Group, promoted the opinions of law enforcement for what they believe they need to investigate cases online.
There are details of the Australian review of this treaty are on the Attorney-General’s website and will be accepting submissions until the close of business on Monday the 14th this month.
It appears highly likely that moves to prepare Australia to sign the Convention on Cybercrime will be used to enact contentious issues like data retention policies in Australia. So anyone wishing to prevent that should strongly consider sending a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department review.
Should Australia sign this treaty and/or introduce data retention policies, then some people may wish to consider various methods of circumventing that policy. Fortunately some of the same methods which can be used to bypass Internet censorship, such as using a VPN and Tor, can also be used to circumvent the data retention policies.