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.
The ROK is generally a strong advocate
of strengthening global cooperation against cybercrime. While it is not formally a signatory to the Budapest Convention, the country voted against the Russian-sponsored UNGA resolution
calling for a new binding cybercrime treaty.
To promote cooperation among law enforcement agencies, the ROK’s Supreme Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) convenes regular meetings with the FBI, while also engaging with the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) in Germany and the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) in the Netherlands.
On the basis of an increased awareness that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are becoming “important partners to secure electronic evidences”,
the SPO works along with Microsoft to operate the Government Security Program (GSP).
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.