Canada Signs Cybercrime Treaty Protocol

Late last week Canada became the first non-European country to sign the Council of Europe’s Cybercrime Treaty Protocol that focuses on Internet hate.  A few clarifications may be useful to ensure that people understand what this is and what it is not.  First, the Council of Europe is not the European Union, but rather a separate (much larger) organization that includes countries such as Canada, the U.S., and Japan in many of their discussions.  Second, the protocol has not yet taken legal effect.  While it has many signatories, the protocol requires five ratifications to take effect.  At the moment, four countries have ratified.  Third, the protocol is a side agreement to the larger COE Cybercrime Treaty.  Canada signed that treaty but has not yet ratified it either.  The Cybercrime Treaty has raised some concerns as it extends well beyond the "traditional" notions of cybercrime to encompass issues such as copyright.

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