US embassy cable - 05CAIRO2892

EGYPT: GOE MAY BE CHANGING TUNE ON COE CYBERCRIME CONVENTION

Identifier: 05CAIRO2892
Wikileaks: View 05CAIRO2892 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Cairo
Created: 2005-04-14 15:34:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: SNAR KCRM EG UNCRIME
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


 
UNCLAS CAIRO 002892 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR, KCRM, EG, UNCRIME 
SUBJECT: EGYPT: GOE MAY BE CHANGING TUNE ON COE CYBERCRIME 
CONVENTION 
 
REF: A. CAIRO 02469 
     B. STATE 26851 
 
Sensitive but Unclassified.  Please protect accordingly. 
 
1.  (U)  On April 12, DOJ Computer Crimes expert Christopher 
Painter met with Assistant Minister of Justice Iskandar 
Ghattas to discuss the GOE's support for a proposed United 
Nations-sponsored global convention on cybercrime, as opposed 
to USG support for the Council of Europe (COE) Convention on 
Cybercrime (reftels). 
 
2.  (SBU)  Ghattas expressed his opinion that cybercrime is 
"just as dangerous as terrorism," that developing countries 
are most vulnerable to cybercrime because they lack 
experience in dealing with it, and that he understood "big 
countries" such as the U.S. were not interested in discussing 
the problem in an international forum.  Painter agreed that 
the problem was serious and growing worldwide, and clarified 
that the USG was indeed interested in dialogue.  However, the 
issue was not one of whether cybercrime was an international 
problem, but whether there should be a U.N.-sponsored global 
convention. 
 
3.  (SBU)  Painter explained USG support for the COE 
Convention, which took five years to develop, and which was 
comprehensive, flexible in its applicability to individual 
countries' legal systems, and efficient.  Painter noted that 
the world could not afford to spend another five years 
negotiating a different convention while cybercrime further 
developed, and that the resources needed to negotiate a new 
convention could be better spent on improving individual 
countries' capacities to fight cybercrime.  Participants in 
the COE Convention, Painter said, could continue with global 
dialogue even after ratifying the agreement.  He noted that 
Egypt could take a leadership role in the region through its 
support for the Convention as a good starting point for 
tackling the problem. 
 
4.  (SBU)  Ghattas inquired as to how the USG and GOE might 
cooperate in fighting cybercrime.  Painter responded that - 
subject to resource availability - continuing USG assitance 
programs, whether technical or legal, could be productive, 
and the USG would like to enlist Egyptian support in the task 
of convincing other countries to join the COE Convention. 
 
5.  (SBU)  A smiling Ghattas indicated his acceptance of 
Painter's arguments on support for the COE Convention with a 
simple "okay," and suggested that the USG and GOE might 
sponsor a regional "seminar" for the purpose, possibly in 
conjunction with the COE or even the U.N.  When Poloff 
inquired on the likelihood of U.N. participation in a program 
supporting the COE Convention rather than a U.N. convention, 
Ghattas responded that the U.N. position had shifted; the 
U.N. no longer was pressing for a new global convention but 
simply wanted to ensure the cybercrime issue was addressed 
internationally. 
 
6.  (SBU)  Comment:  Ghattas is not the final arbiter of GOE 
policy but his support undoubtedly will help the USG case. 
The apparent ease with which he reversed position from his 
previous opposition to the COE Convention (reftels) most 
likely reflects his perception of a modified U.N. stance. 
End comment. 
 
7.  (U)  Mr. Painter cleared this cable. 
 
 
Visit Embassy Cairo's Classified Website: 
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/cairo 
 
You can also access this site through the 
State Department's Classified SIPRNET website. 
 
GRAY 

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