Canada’s National Cyber Security Strategy
identifies the activities of malicious cyber actors as a “growing challenge”. Following the adoption of the ‘Protecting Canadians from Online Crime’ Act, Canada acceded to the Council of Europe’s Budapest Convention in 2015 and has since consistently promoted
the instrument as the “best tool to fight cybercrime at the international level”. Canada has specifically
“encourage[d] countries to bolster their anti-cybercrime efforts by becoming Parties to the Convention, or using it as a model to implement their own cybercrime laws”. Moreover, upon Canada’s initiative, the Quintet of Attorneys General (which brings together Attorneys General from Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK) issued a public statement
at their July 2019 meeting, expressing their support for the Budapest Convention as a “necessary basic framework for fighting cybercrime” and for the work of the United Nations Open-Ended Intergovernmental Expert Group on Cybercrime (UNIEG). Being part of the ‘like-minded’ group of states, Canada voted against the Russian-sponsored UNGA Resolution 74/247
aiming at establishing an alternative cybercrime instrument; upon the passage of 74/247 and its follow-up UNGA Resolution 75/282
, however, Canada has been a vocal member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime. Prior to the Committee’s May 2021 organizational session, the Canadian position paper
on the Implementation of 74/247 noted that the Committee must “ensure consistency with existing UN treaties in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, in particular the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the United Nations Convention against Corruption and take into account multilateral instruments that have already proven their usefulness in the fight against cybercrime, in particular the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime”. In the same document, Canada emphasized the need for an “inclusive, transparent, constructive, and consensus-based process that will lead to a fair outcome to the benefit of all”. The first session
of the Ad Hoc Committee will be held in New York from 17 to 28 January 2022. Canada’s perspective on the scope, objectives, and structure of the convention was submitted to the Ad Hoc Committee in advance of the start of the first negotiation session (E
The EU has been an early champion of the Budapest Convention signed under the auspices of the Council of Europe, given the overlapping membership of the two organisations. Much of the EU’s cyber diplomatic efforts have focused on promoting the Convention as the main instrument of choice for fighting cybercrime on a global level. EU member states have consistently opposed Russian bids for replacing this regime with another legal framework.
The Union is represented in the recently constituted Ad Hoc Committee established by UNGA resolution 74/247 by its Member States and is currently focused
on ensuring that the process is inclusive, transparent, consistent with the progress of the UNGGE and OEWG processes, and committed to legal consistency.
The Information Society and Information Security Development Strategy for the period 2021-2026
provides a comprehensive approach to the field of information security, which includes both (a) information security of ICT systems of special importance and security of the Republic of Serbia, and (b) security of citizens and businesses, which is particularly reflected through the fight against cybercrime. Its predecessor, the 2017 Strategy for the Development of Information Security
, in turn, indicates the fight against cybercrime as one of the government’s five key priorities.
In light of EU accession negotiations, Serbia has signed and ratified the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention), including its Additional Protocol on Xenophobia and Racism Committed Through Computer Systems. Nevertheless, the country also voted in favour of UNGA resolution 74/247 calling for an international legal instrument to govern this domain. Domestically, the national legislative framework has been developed in accordance with the Budapest Convention and EU legislation. A High-Tech Crime Unit has recently been established
within the special prosecutor’s office, along with three specialised units: crime analysis; terrorism and extremism; and drug prevention, addiction and repression.
Serbia is a member of Interpol, with which the country has discussed
ways to enhance cooperation with regard to combatting cybercrime. Serbia is also gradually developing its own bilateral cooperation network, signing a Cooperation Memoranda with India in 2016 [x
] and Romania in 2017 [x
] as well as receiving assistance from Russian experts [x
Special thanks to Ms Maja Lakusic for her valuable comments.