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28 Dec, 2019 19:20

‘Democratic talks to replace club interests’: UNGA approves Russian-drafted resolution against cybercrime despite US opposition

‘Democratic talks to replace club interests’: UNGA approves Russian-drafted resolution against cybercrime despite US opposition

A new resolution paving the way for experts from around the world to work together on a new treaty combating cybercrimes was passed by the UN General Assembly despite strong opposition from the US and its allies.

The document drafted jointly by Russia and 47 other nations has been adopted by the 193-member international body with 79 votes in favor and 60 votes against as well as 33 abstentions. The resolution calls on the General Assembly to form a committee of experts representing all parts of the world to “elaborate a comprehensive international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes.”

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The committee is expected to meet for the first time in August 2020 to outline its activities, Russia’s deputy UN envoy Gennady Kuzmin told TASS, adding that the fight against crimes in cyberspace should finally become a truly international effort, which would take into account the interests of all states.

An era of club agreements should give way to a democratic negotiations process.

The initiative, however, drew the ire of the US and its allies who argued that the new convention would actually harm the international fight against cybercrime instead of strengthening it. America’s deputy UN ambassador Cherith Norman Chalet said there is no consensus among member states on the need or value of drafting a new treaty  and it will “only serve to stifle global efforts to combat cybercrime.”
The US also could not help but accuse Russia of an attempt to enforce its own approach to the future of the internet on other nations and thus take control over cyberspace. Moscow refuted these accusations by saying that the resolution instead grants each state sovereignty over national cyberspace and consolidates global efforts in countering cybercrimes.

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“It is of utmost importance that this process is open, inclusive and transparent in nature,” Kuzmin said.

America’s claims about the resolution allegedly undermining all the existing agreements in this field were also rebuffed by Russia who said that the future expert commission is required to particularly take into account a report of the existing UN expert group on cybercrime that is due in 2020.

The Russian Senate meanwhile welcomed the adoption of the resolution and said that the US staunch opposition to it only shows that Washington does not want the internet to come under international control.

Washington believes that the “internet was invented in the US and thus belongs to America,” Andrey Klimov, the head of the Senate’s International Relations Committee told RT. “They believe that it should serve only their interests.”

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Moscow said earlier that almost half of all cyberattacks against Russia originate in the US. Meanwhile Washington warned that it would have to come back with an appropriate response should the document be passed. 

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