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U.N. - The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes

U.N. - The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes

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Published by Tyler E. West
U.N. Briefing analysis the patterns and scope of current trends in surveillance technology and exploiting the internet for terrorist purposes.
U.N. Briefing analysis the patterns and scope of current trends in surveillance technology and exploiting the internet for terrorist purposes.

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Published by: Tyler E. West on Dec 21, 2012
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68. While model legislation provides advisory guidelines, rather than legally binding
obligations, it plays an important role in harmonizing legal standards among States.
Unlike international conventions, which may be subject to extensive negotiations to
refect the needs of a diverse range of potential signatories, the provisions of model


Council of Ministers, “Amendment of the Framework Decision on combating terrorism”, press release of 18

April 2008.



laws provide States with the beneft of strong foundational legal provisions as a point
of departure for the development of domestic legislation. A key beneft of the use of
model provisions as a basis for national legislation is the facilitation of international
cooperation, including through the mitigation of conficts arising out of misinterpreta-
tion of provisions in different legal systems (for example, between common-law and
civil-law jurisdictions) and with respect to dual criminality requirements.71

(See discus-

sion in section V.F.5 below.)

1. Commonwealth

69. The Commonwealth Model Law on Computer and Computer Related Crime
(2002) was drafted on the basis of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.72
The Model Law is aimed at leveraging the similarities in the legal traditions of Com-
monwealth member States73

to promote the harmonization of both substantive and
procedural aspects of combating cybercrime and to promote international cooperation.
The Commonwealth Model Law is consistent with the standards defned by the Council
of Europe Convention on Cybercrime.

2. Commonwealth of Independent States

70. Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have also
adopted model legislative acts and guidelines, aimed at harmonizing the national leg-
islative systems, taking into account international experiences in the fght against ter-
rorism. These model provisions refect international legal standards, adapted to the
needs of CIS member States.74

For example, article 13 of the Model Law on the regu-

latory framework of the Internet75

provides model provisions with respect to countering

the use of the Internet for illegal purposes.

3. International Telecommunication Union

71. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a specialized agency of the
United Nations that plays a leading role in cybercrime issues. ITU has developed the
Toolkit for Cybercrime Legislation (2010) to promote harmonized national cybercrime


Pursuant to the principle of dual criminality, extradition may be possible only in cases in which the act on the
basis of which extradition has been requested is punishable in both the requesting and the requested State.


For more information, see www.thecommonwealth.org/shared_asp_fles/uploadedfles/%7BDA109CD2-5204-


As at the date of the present publication, the 53 member States of the Commonwealth were: Antigua and Bar-
buda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus,
Dominica, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives,
Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint
Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon
Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, United
Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu and Zambia.


As at the date of the present publication, the 11 member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States
were: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turk-
menistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.


Annex to resolution 36-9 of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the members of the Commonwealth of Inde-
pendent States, adopted on 16 May 2011.



legislation and procedural rules, including with respect to acts of terrorism committed
by using the Internet. The Toolkit was developed on the basis of a comprehensive
analysis of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime and the cybercrime leg-
islation of developed countries.76

While the ITU Toolkit primarily addresses cybersecu-
rity issues, it provides model provisions for the criminalization of certain acts of ter-
rorism involving use of the Internet, such as unauthorized access to computer programs
or data for purposes of terrorism or the transmission of malware with the intent of
furthering terrorism.77


International Telecommunication Union, Toolkit for Cybercrime Legislation (2010), para. 2.2.


Ibid., sects. 3 (f) and 6 (h).


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