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Does Cybercrime really matter to you? If it does, this is an opportunity for you to get involved!


The latest draft of the initiative can be seen here: http://www.commonwealthigf.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Cyber-Cri...


You can discuss here or you can go to the Blog and add a comment

The Blog post from http://www.commonwealthigf.org/blog/the-commonwealth-cybercrime-ini...


The Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum is consulting with stakeholders to gauge the support of a Commonwealth-led Initiative on Cybercrime with a view to seeking endorsement of this from Commonwealth Heads of Government in Australia in October 2011. The development of this initiative is in response to the increasing importance that is attached to cyber security in the face of the Internet’s exponential growth. The CIGF is introducing this initiative at the various regional IGFs in order to seek feedback from the member countries and regions. The Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative will be the focus of the CIGF open forum at the 6th IGF in Nairobi, Kenya.

The objective of this initiative is to assist developing Commonwealth countries to build their institutional, human and technical capacities with respect to policy, legislation, regulation, investigation and law enforcement with the aim of,  making their jurisdictions more secure by denying safe havens to cyber criminals, and enabling all member countries to become effective partners in the globally coordinated effort to combat Cybercrime.

The CIGF is keen to receive reactions on this Proposal from Commonwealth Member States and also to acquire a reading of the support needed to build capacity in addressing Cybercrime.

Member states are also encouraged to support this initiative for endorsement by the Heads of Government at their meeting in October.

To download the latest draft of the Proposal document please click here.  To submit your comments and feedback please use the comment box below or send an email to:





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Replies to This Discussion

I tried to read the document prepared and found it very promising. I hope the implementation and putting it in ground needs a systematic and a step by step approach.

Thanks, Milk. Are there specific suggestions you would offer, or points that concern you, especially in light of the news about the large, apparently state-sponsored cyber attack, that came out this week?


See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8679658/China-chief-susp...

"Security experts have discovered the biggest series of cyber attacks to date, involving the infiltration of the networks of 72 organisations including the United Nations, governments and companies around the world."

I agree with Milkias that the initiative is very promising. It has the potential of reducing the vulnerabilities posed by 'safe havens'. It could help countries in reducing/overcoming legal lacunaes in existing legislation, and in harmonising national laws according to international frameworks. The project is on a grand scale, with already a number of governments and organisations partnering up with the Commonwealth Secretariat. 


My suggestion would be to include officials - including diplomats - working in government ministries, departments etc, in the conversation to assist the Secretariat with Phase 1 of the initiative, esp. awareness-building. Regional IGFs can also provide a great fora where initial discussions can take place, as these are usually attended by a good number of government representatives.


My question is: Keeping in mind that the Secretariat is aiming at securing endorsements by governments, is there a wayfor civil society/NGOs to participate in this initiative? Are they encouraged to participate?

Excellent points, Steph, thanks! I think the topic of Cybercrime, and even this initiative are already being discussed in the regional fora (Africa this week, LAC IGF next week). 


A multistakeholer input would be especially valuable to get all viewpoints of the problem and possible solutions. Daily users have a different, but important viewpoint, and giving them some kind of ownership will help the initiative have wide legitimacy in the citizen base. Another suggestion you made earlier, was to foster some kind of sharing of best practices. This would help both inside Commonwealth countries, and perhaps, more importantly, outside of them, as we widen the discussion and the scope of attack. Cybercrime needs to be addressed at all stakeholder levels, and around the world, as no area or political group can wall itself off and still take advantage of the Internet's openness.


What do the rest of you think? Will this initiative help all of us? It is a global issue, not just a Commonwealth issue.

I totally agree with all the relevant information and  initiative set for implementation on this important global issue. My concern is that every step taken to address the Cybercrime should go with balanced  trust and transparency among all stakeholders at different levels.  Together, we are unbeatable team, we will surely fight the Cybercrime to enjoy the wonderful Cyberspace

Dear Ginger, Many thanks.

The Initiative is a Commonwealth Initiative as it falls under the mandate of the CIGF, but we recognise Cybercrime to be a global issue, and this is the Commonwealth's attempt to address it. 

The sharing of knowledge by way of toolkits, best practices, etc is planned to be shared through an online resource platform which will be open to the pubic therefore everyone will be able to benefit from such resources.


Steph, Thank you for your comments.

In reference to your question on Civil Societies and NGOs we see these stakeholders as a vital role in the Initiative. Civil Society Organisations could contribute to the knowledge transfer between countries and also the sharing of resources. They could also be the beneficiaries of the initiative by way of capacity building resources - the technical and legal aspects to the Initiative. Therefore the answer to your question is a definite and encouraging yes: Civil Society organisations are definitely encouraged to participate. 



Our respective national organisations should read, discuss and endorse this document and approach, as well as lobby our governments to push for its adoption. As the document says "this iitiative is not a one way street".. By increasing the awareness of cybercrime, buildin capacity and implementing policies based on best practices at a national/regional level we would be increasing the overall level of resistance to cybercrime.


I have to bring it to my local context,(St. Kitts) we need to get a lobbying/pressure group that is focussed on these issues.

The world is passing us by.


Dear Trevor,

Many thanks for your comment, which expresses the exact sentiments of the CIGf secretariat. Everyone should encourage their relevant ministries and departments to endorse this Initiative at CHOGM in Australia this October, so that Cybercrime can be addressed through a holistic, multistakeholder approach which the Commonwealth Initiative is proposing through this document. 

Thank you very much for pointing this out,


I think it's a great initiative, especially because it involves many developing countries.

Since we still do not have an international treaty to combat cybercrime, regional and national initiatives play a very important role and they can feed a broader and international process of negociation of an international convention that can be discussa and agreed by all interested countries.

In this past days it was also launched a new initiative by USA to combat transnational crime, which includes cybercrimes, since they are essentially bordless. This new initiative is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/homeland-security

It's important to highlight that in the last UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, that was held in Salvador, Brazil, last year, it was approved a Declaration as outcome of its discussions (later approved on Resolution 230 of the 65 Session of UN General Assembly), that deal with cybercrime, as show below:

41. We recommend that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, upon
request, provide, in cooperation with Member States, relevant international
organizations and the private sector, technical assistance and training to States to
improve national legislation and build the capacity of national authorities in order to
deal with cybercrime, including the prevention, detection, investigation and
prosecution of such crime in all its forms, and to enhance the security of computer

42. We invite the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to
consider convening an open-ended intergovernmental expert group to conduct a
comprehensive study of the problem of cybercrime and responses to it by Member
States, the international community and the private sector, including the exchange of
information on national legislation, best practices, technical assistance and international cooperation, with a view to examining options to strengthen existing and to propose new national and international legal or other responses to cybercrime.

As a result of paragraph 42, the Open-ended intergovernmental expert group to conduct a comprehensive study of the problem of cybercrime started its work in the last January and it should be finished by 2013. In my oppinion it represents a concrete possibility of the negotiation of an international treaty.

More information about the experts group is available at:

Dear All,

Many thanks for your comments. Your feedback and inputs to the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative are both really exciting and constructive. I will reply to your comments individually, but just wanted to thank you all for reading the document and contributing to this Multistakeholder Initiative.




Are you watching EFF? Dangerous Cybercrime Treaty Pushes Surveillance and Secrecy Worldwide Commentary by Katitza Rodriguez... see https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/08/cybercrime-treaty-pushes-surv...
Do you agree with Katitza? What do you think? How does this compare to the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative?




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