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Friday, September 29, 2006
US joins European cybercrime war

The United States formally joined the 46-nation Council of Europe in waging war on cybercrime and urged other governments to do the same.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Washington had submitted its ratification of the Convention on Cybercrime to the Strasbourg, France-headquartered council and that the agreement would take effect on January 1, 2007.

The convention adopted by the Council of Europe in 2001 is the only legally binding multilateral accord specifically addressing computer-related crime, McCormack said in a statement.

It deals with computer hacking and Internet fraud as well as crimes involving electronic evidence, child sexual exploitation, organized crime and terrorism.

"Parties to the Convention commit to effective and compatible laws and tools to fight cybercrime, and to cooperating to investigate and prosecute these crimes," he said.

"The United States urges all states to consider joining the Convention," he said.

The Council of Europe acts primarily as a human rights watchdog for former communist bloc nations in central and eastern Europe, but also assists member countries in promoting democractic and legal institutions.

The Convention on Cybercrime entered into force in July 2004.

There are currently 43 signatories and 15 parties to the agreement.

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