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"world's worst Internet law."
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Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 08 August 2006 08:05
Senate OKs Controversial Internet Treaty


AUGUST 7, 2006 | The U.S. Senate Friday ratified an international treaty designed to ease investigation of cybercrime, but U.S. civil liberties groups say that signing the pact is a big mistake.

The Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime, which began circulating in 2001, has been adopted by 41 other countries, including most of Europe as well as Canada and Japan. It is designed to harmonize laws on computer crime, which differ from country to country.

Countries that sign the treaty agree to establish some common laws against criminal behavior online, such as attacks on computer networks, terrorist tactics, and exploitation of children. The language of the treaty is very broad and doesn't require the U.S. to write any new cybercrime laws.

However, by signing the treaty, the U.S. will now be bound to aid its partner countries in the investigation of cybercrime, even if the alleged perpetrators have not violated any U.S. statute, critics say. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) both called the treaty the "world's worst Internet law."

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