The Swiss Confederation

Swiss Cybercrime Convention

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Introduction

The Federal Department of Justice and Police (EJPD) submitted a proposal to introduce the European Cybercrime Convention legislation to Switzerland. The purpose of this legislation is to reduce the amount of crime performed over the Internet by outlawing the availability of tools that may be helpful in performing such crimes on a national level.

This proposal implements the international treaty which came to be known as the «Cybercrime Convention». As Switzerland signed the treaty, it comes as no surprise that we are now seeing a proposal to implement it into national law.

Problems of the proposal

The proposal however is wrong on a variety of different levels.

Conceptually, the Internet is an international network which knows no national borders or restrictions. As such the idea of forbidding tools on a national level shows a deep misconception of the structure of the Internet.

Additionally, tools are in this case, as usual, just tools. Just like a wrench, most so-called «hacking tools» can be used for hacking as well as for positive causes. In its nature, the tool cannot decide whether it is used to do good or bad.

It should also be mentioned that so-called hacker tools are used in daily business by an entire industry. The daily business of these companies is to analyze and improve the security of their customers' systems. If companies are handling bank account data or credit card numbers, they are legally obliged to let these companies audit their systems.

In its current form, the cybercrime conventions deprives these companies of the ability to possess and use their tools, and as such, their ability to do business. This issue has lead to an exodus of security companies from other countries to Switzerland, and should be addressed before the law is passed.

Read more on problems of the current proposal

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