Russia Tells UN It Wants Vast Expansion of Cybercrime Offenses, Plus Network Backdoors, Online Censorship

An anonymous reader writes: Russia has put forward a draft convention to the United Nations ostensibly to fight cyber-crime. The proposal, titled “United Nations Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes,” calls for member states to develop domestic laws to punish a far broader set of offenses than current international rules recognize. Russia, the ransomware hotbed whose cyber-spies were blamed for attacking US and allied networks, did not join the 2001 Budapest Convention on Cybercrime because it allowed cross-border operations, which it considers a threat to national sovereignty. Russian media outlet Tass also said the 2001 rules are flawed because they only criminalize nine types of cyber offenses. The new draft convention from Russia, submitted last week, defines 23 cybercrimes for discussion.

Russia’s proposed rule expansion, for example, calls for domestic laws to criminalize changing digital information without permission — “the intentional unauthorized interference with digital information by damaging, deleting, altering, blocking, modifying it, or copying of digital information.” The draft also directs members states to formulate domestic laws to disallow unsanctioned malware research — “the intentional creation, including adaptation, use and distribution of malicious software intended for the unauthorized destruction, blocking, modification, copying, dissemination of digital information, or neutralization of its security features, except for lawful research.” It would forbid “the creation and use of digital data to mislead the user,” such as deep fakes — “the intentional unlawful creation and use of digital data capable of being mistaken for data already known and trusted by a user that causes substantial harm.”