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ITU mulling ‘cyber treaty' to curb cyber crime

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tELE-TALK:Delegates during the inaugural session of the World Telecom Development Conference 2010 in Hyderabad on Monday.
tELE-TALK:Delegates during the inaugural session of the World Telecom Development Conference 2010 in Hyderabad on Monday.

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is actively considering a ‘cyber treaty' for strengthening cyber security and avoiding possible misuse of cyber space.

The cyber treaty would encompass commitments by the government to protect cyber space for the citizens, not to harbour terrorist and criminals. There would also be commitments by countries not to attack other nations. It envisages the creation of a broad institutional framework in this direction where each signatory would commit itself to collaborate in addressing cyber-security issues. “It is like the no-first-attack provision of the nuclear treaty,” ITU secretary general Hamadoun Toure said.

Briefing reporters about the issues to be deliberated at the fifth edition of the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2010 here on Monday, he said the ITU embarked upon the exercise following identification of key areas that needed to be addressed by a high-level expert group comprising 110 chief security officers of major companies.

The ITU was in a good position to address cyber security issues and while putting in place agenda on cyber security it had faced some problems including the anticipation of even definition of crime. “Pornography, for instance, may be a crime in one country and may not be in other.” “A criminal may not be in the crime scene in cyber space, he can perpetrate crime in any part from any other part.”

Replying to queries, he said the treaty was in the discussions stage and the ITU was expected to take a final decision on the course of action to be adopted after high level discussions in October.

Digital divide

Mr. Toure expressed concern that though the world was on the verge of breaking the digital divide in terms of telephony, there was a new divide that could happen in internet and broadband related issues.

“It is our goal to avoid this and the ITU had constituted a broadband commission to address various issues for ensuring affordable and equitable broadband access to achieve the millennium development goals by 2015.

ITU telecom development bureau director Sami al Basheer said the recently launched ‘connect-a-school' initiative was a flagship programme of the ITU aimed at raising awareness on the importance of connecting schools.


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