The Convention on Cybercrime of the EC (CETS No.185), known as the Budapest Convention, serves as a guideline for developing comprehensive national legislation against cybercrime and as a framework for international cooperation between State Parties to this treaty. It is supplemented by a Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism committed through computer systems.
The Convention is the first international treaty on Internet and computer-network crimes. It focuses on copyright infringement, computer-related fraud, child pornography, and network security violations. It outlines powers and procedures, such as searching computer networks and making interceptions. The aim of the treaty is to reconcile a free Internet, with the free flow of information and effective criminal justice for criminal misuse. Thus, its restrictions are narrowly defined and electronic evidence for criminal proceedings is subject to human rights and legal safeguards.
- The treaty was opened in Budapest on November 23, 2001.
- The convention first went into force on July 01, 2004, following its ratification by five members, including 3 EC states.
- By April 28, 2021, 45 EC member states and 21 non-member states had signed and ratified the treaty.
Cybercrime Convention Committee
The Cybercrime Convention Committee, aka C-TY, assesses the Convention implementation, the adoption of its guidance notes, and the preparation of legal instruments. It acts as a forum for 74 participant states.
By February 2020, 55% of United Nations members had developed domestic legislation with the help of the C-TY to criminalize computer-related offences aligning with the Budapest Convention.
The Convention is supported by capacity-building projects managed by the EC Cybercrime Programme Office (C-PROC) to help countries worldwide investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate cybercrime or cases involving electronic evidence.