Cybercrime Convention To Make All Australians Suspects

Pirate Party Australia has submitted to both the Attorney-General’s consultation process and the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties regarding the proposed accession to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

“The Convention itself deals with offences related to infringement of copyright, fraud, child pornography and network security offences – and there is no doubt that in order to combat some of these things, greater cross-border law enforcement co-operation is necessary — however the Cybercrime Convention contains serious flaws that demand we reject the proposition that Australia should accede to this treaty — it is a fundamentally imbalanced treaty that detracts from the good intentions and benefits the treaty may carry within it.” said Rodney Serkowski, Party President.

“We agree with the proposition that law enforcement require a coordinating mechanism to enable those agencies to tackle online criminal elements globally, however we should be very mindful that these mechanisms do not throw fundamental freedoms and respect for individual rights and democratic institutions to the wind. We do not accept that combating cybercrime must lead to erosion of fundamental protection of privacy and the protection of personal data.”

“The effects of the Treaty have already been felt in Europe. Studies in Germany showed that literally half refrained from seeking help from a councillor or other health professional online because of fears the data would be accessed and misused. One in fourteen journalists reported sources were not providing information due to monitoring.1 The systematic monitoring of communications has a real effect on peoples’ civil liberties and should not be implemented in Australia.” said Simon Frew, Acting Secretary.