Under the auspices of the OEWG, India has highlighted the need for “real-time cooperation between government agencies”
in combatting cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyber threats more widely. To date, however, India has not signed any international cybercrime agreement. It voted in favour of a Russia-sponsored UNGA Resolution
calling for the establishment of a separate cybercrime treaty.
Despite having brought its legal framework largely in alignment with the Budapest Convention, India remains a non-party because the document was drafted without the country’s participation
, thus rending the treaty discriminatory. Another big objection has been raised on the basis of section 32.b, which gives intelligence agencies trans-border access to data for the purposes of criminal investigations with lawful and voluntary consent - a concern shared by Russia.
It has also been argued
that the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) regime under Budapest is not effective, as it does not commit states to a firm promise of cooperation; from the perspective of the Indians, it would be preferable
to replace this regime with a UN-driven process.
The US is a signatory and an early proponent of the Budapest Convention. A big part of American cyber diplomatic activity has, in fact, been focused on promoting the Budapest regime as the global model of cybercrime governance. In 2019, the US firmly opposed the Russian-sponsored resolution calling for an alternative legal instrument to the Convention; following the passing of the resolution, however, the US has agreed to participate in the Ad Hoc Committee established under UNGA resolution 74/247
despite the fact that the “surprise text” within the May 2021 resolution
was seen as an effort to “circumvent dialogue” and undermine the “balanced, inclusive, consensus-based process” sought by the US.
On a multilateral level, the US is also a party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance of the Organisation of American States (OAS) and is a member of Interpol.
Bilaterally, the US has completed an agreement
with the UK under the CLOUD Act that facilitates cross-border data sharing directly between US companies and the British government; the US is trying to expand this type of bilateral engagement, currently negotiating
a similar agreement with Australia.
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.