VIENNA—On Tuesday, April 18, at 10:00 am Pacific Time (1:00 pm Eastern Time), experts from Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and three Latin American digital rights allies will brief reporters about the unique threats to privacy posed by the proposed UN Cybercrime Treaty, which could authorize the use of spyware already being deployed against journalists and human rights defenders.

The treaty, which has been the subject of negotiations among UN Member States for a year, so far lacks strong commitments to human rights and detailed conditions and safeguards needed to protect the rights of individuals and organizations in the region.

The one-hour briefing will be livestreamed from the
fifth session of treaty negotiations in Vienna, where representatives from over 100 Member States are meeting to discuss a draft document that will serve as a basis for the treaty.

Experts from EFF, Network in Defense of Digital Rights (R3D), Derechos Digitales, and Fundacion Karisma will discuss how the draft creates over 30 new cybercrime offenses; new criminal procedures for cross-border sharing of alleged evidence, including private user data; and increased police surveillance powers. States that sign on to the treaty would adopt these offenses and procedures into their national criminal codes.

Without appropriate human rights safeguards written into the treaty, these measures are incompatible with Inter-American human rights standards reinforcing freedom of expression, privacy, and due process, dealing an enormous setback for civil liberties across Latin America.

What’s more, the treaty is being negotiated as evidence mounts that spyware like Pegasus and government hacking have been used against vulnerable groups, journalists, and human rights activists rather than to investigate or prosecute crimes.

Speakers will brief reporters on the draft’s most alarming language, provide insight into the potential impact on users and tech companies, and update reporters on civil society’s calls for revisions and improvements to the text, which may be discussed and approved in the next several months and taken up by the UN General Assembly early next year.

Latam Media Briefing on Proposed UN Cybercrime Treaty Negotiations

Tuesday, April 18, at 10:00 am Pacific Time/1:00 pm Eastern Time/ 7 pm CEST
Briefing link:
Or call ‪(MX) +52 55 8421 0898‬ PIN: ‪944 028 758 5643‬#
More numbers to call in to the briefing:

Katitza Rodriguez, Policy Director for Global Privacy, EFF
Grecia Macias, Attorney, Network in Defense of Digital Rights (R3D)
Michel de Souza, Public Policy Director, Derechos Digitales
Juan Pablo Parra, Researcher, Civic Engagement Program, Fundación Karisma
Tanja Fachathaler, Policy Advisor,

For more on the UN Cybercrime Treaty:

For a timeline of the treaty:

For EFF’s submissions to the UN Ad-Hoc Committee facilitating negotiations: