US joins Europe in efforts against cybercrime

The US formally joined the 46-nation Council of Europe in waging war on cybercrime and urged other governments to do the same, an AFP report said.

The AFP report quoted US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack as saying that Washington had submitted its ratification of the Convention on Cybercrime to the Strasbourg, France-headquartered council and that the agreement would take effect on January 1, 2007.

The convention adopted by the Council of Europe in 2001 is the only legally binding multilateral accord specifically addressing computer-related crime, McCormack said in a statement.

It deals with computer hacking and Internet fraud as well as crimes involving electronic evidence, child sexual exploitation, organized crime and terrorism, the AFP report said.

The Council of Europe acts primarily as a human rights watchdog for former communist bloc nations in central and eastern Europe, but also assists member countries in promoting democratic and legal institutions, the AFP report said.

The Convention on Cybercrime entered into force in July 2004, the report further said.