Cyber crime-fighters: A model for international cooperation?

Current international collaboration against online criminals could offer a template for broader cooperation on cybersecurity, although law enforcement has challenges of its own.

The United States and the European Union have developed strong operational partnerships for fighting cyber crime despite the lack of formal frameworks for the cooperation, according to a panel of officials from both sides of the Atlantic.

“It’s amazing in law enforcement channels how well we are able to share information,” said Thomas Dukes, a former cyber crime prosecutor in the Justice Department and now a policy adviser to the State Department.

The United States has collaborated with agencies in other countries on a number of successful takedowns of criminal organizations and networks, and this could serve as a model for broader cooperation on cybersecurity, participants said May 2 during a conference on trans-Atlantic cooperation. But serious challenges remain to creating formal alliances.


Related story:

White House sets strategy for international cyber behavior


Although U.S. cyber strategy is more secure than Europe’s, the United States still is struggling to define government’s role in its own cybersecurity, said Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department. The two sides also have differing views on privacy, and there is disagreement on Internet governance. Dukes said the broader policy debate on cybersecurity is only now beginning, but given the international nature of the Internet and the growing importance of cyberspace to national security economies, all sides agree that cooperation is needed.

“Our cooperation is not a choice; it is an obligation and a necessity,” said Cecilia Malmstrom, EU commissioner for home affairs.

The conference, held in Washington, was hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the European Security Round Table.

Dukes said there is “an almost exponential growth in interest in talking about cyber,” by governments, and that a growing number of nations are creating cyber strategies and appointing senior officials in their foreign ministries.

Currently, the best model for international cyber collaboration is the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, a treaty drawn up by the Council of Europe in 2001 and ratified by the United States and some 30 other nations. It provides a legal framework for information between member countries and focuses on crimes committed online or via the Internet, such as copyright infringement, child pornography and network or computer breaches.

But even in law enforcement, where areas of common concern and cooperation are most advanced, information sharing usually is done on a case-by-case basis rather than under comprehensive framework, said Bruce McConnell, senior counsel to the DHS National Protection and Program Directorate.

Francois Rivasseau, deputy head of the EU’s delegation to the United States, pointed out that the largest international data flow on the Internet is between the United States and Europe, and that the two cultures share a common set of values.

Despite this, however, serious differences persist. Lute said that the United States has recently completed a major agreement with the EU on the exchange of airline passenger data. But that agreement took seven years to negotiate, in large part because of differing views on personal privacy. The United States views privacy as a limitation on government intrusion in personal lives, and Europe views it as the right of individuals to control information about themselves wherever it is.

Another issue to be resolved before common policies can be adopted is the role of government in cybersecurity. “That is not clear,” Lute said. Some hold that the Internet is a product of private-sector innovation in which the government has no role, and others view it as a war zone in which the government must take control to ensure security. Within government, some see cybersecurity as job for the military, while others see it as a civilian domain.

The Obama administration’s position is that “we do not want cyberspace to be a battlefield,” McConnell said. Cybersecurity legislation proposed by the president would give DHS primary responsibility for security of non-military networks. But other bills being considered would give the Defense Department, particularly the National Security Agency, a larger role in cybersecurity, and they do not include DHS.

Internet governance also is an issue of international dispute. Currently, the closest thing to a controlling authority is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit corporation administering policy under an agreement with the Commerce Department. But some people see ICANN as a puppet for U.S. control of the Internet and would prefer to see policy directed with a more international perspective, possibly in the United Nations.

While serious differences remain, there is agreement on the need for cooperation to combat a growing threat.

“For the time being, the bad guys have the upper hand,” Malmstrom said.

“The status quo with respect to cybersecurity is not acceptable,” Lute said.

 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.