1. Senior representatives of the governments and industry from all G8 member countries met in Paris, on May 15-17, 2000, at the "G8 Paris Conference : a government/industry dialogue on safety and confidence in cyberspace" to discuss common problems and explore solutions associated with high-tech crime and exploitation of the Internet for criminal purposes. The Conference was initiated and organized by the Lyon Group of the G8. The following statement is issued by the heads of the government delegations attending the Conference.
2. Information and communication technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for accessing, sharing and exchanging information and for economic development. All G8 countries recognize the significant importance of creating an environment that fosters the growth of electronic commerce by balancing economic, privacy, human rights, social and other concerns with the need to maintain public safety and confidence in cyberspace.
3. The development of high-tech criminality threatens security and confidence in cyberspace. It directly affects private individuals, as well as companies and States.
4. The ability to locate and identify Internet criminals through different systems is critical to deterring, investigating and prosecuting crime that has an electronic component. The cross-border nature of computer networks makes it relatively easy for offenders to store information in other jurisdictions and to move or erase it quickly to elude seizure. To the extent that the cross-border nature of many computer and communication networks poses challenges for lawfully authorized investigations, the G8 has pursued initiatives to address this problem in the context of transnational crime.
5. In order to improve the protection of law-abiding users of these new networks and thus guarantee the sustainable development of information technologies, G8 States are convinced that faster or novel solutions should be developed and that government and industry must work together to achieve them. Some solutions are a matter for the States themselves, requiring the adaptation of operational structures, legal systems and international cooperation procedures. Others call for the development of cooperation principles between the private sector and government and still others call for action by the private sector itself. While more work needs to be done, governments and industry have already taken measures to face the challenge of cybercrime.
6. Governments and the private sector share a joint interest in the fight against the illegal or prejudicial use of information and communication technologies. A dialogue between governments and the private sector is clearly essential. Companies are often themselves victims of criminal practice and are especially suited to put forward proposals to counter cybercriminality.
7. In order to meet all of these challenges, the G8 States brought together, for the first time in the same venue, senior representatives from government and the private sector. In this way, the official services responsible for the prevention and prosecution of offences were able to enter into dialogue with the representatives from 130 major companies working in the information and communication technology fields. Fruitful exchanges enabled them to discuss problems brought about by the use of information and communication technologies and to take steps to develop the best possible solutions.
8. Several themes were discussed over the course of the three day conference. Particular emphasis was put on the difficulties faced when attempting to locate and identify cybercriminals. The participants stressed the need to improve existing rules and procedures and to develop novel solutions, taking into account the following elements:
- ensuring the protection of individual freedoms and private life,
- preserving governments' ability to fight high tech crime,
- facilitating appropriate training for all involved,
- defining a clear and transparent framework for addressing cybercriminality,
- ensuring free and fair activities, the sound development of industry, and supporting effective industry initiated voluntary codes of conduct and standards,
- assessing effectiveness and consequences.
9. The participants shared a view that international cooperation within and beyond the G8 is indispensable to combat effectively high-tech crime; there must be no safe havens for those who abuse information technologies.
10. The outcome of this conference is expected to enhance discussions among the G8 Heads of State and Government who will meet in Okinawa in July 2000.
Source: France, Ministère des Affaires étrangères.
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