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Cybersecurity: Budapest Convention turns 20. Johansson (EU Commission), “increasing attacks and abuse”. “Facing European and global challenges”

The Budapest Convention marks its 20th anniversary, a time in which “we have built a global alliance against cybercrime, based on shared values and fundamental rights”. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said this in a video message to the participants in the Council of Europe’s conference on cooperation against cybercrime. The Budapest Convention forms the foundation of anti-cybercrime laws in more than 80% of countries worldwide; 66 countries ratified it, including all EU member states and almost all members of the Council of Europe. “The Convention is now more important than ever”, Johansson said, because “digital threats have grown exponentially and continue to do so”. During the pandemic, ransomware attacks increased by 300 % and victims paid more than 280 million euro in ransom in 2020. To combat this threat, the EU is working with global partners, and Europol has set up the “No more ransom” website, which offers free decryption tools and is accessible to everyone. It “helped 6 million people worldwide. And prevented 900 million euro in criminal profits”. Child sexual abuse online, however, has also increased: from one million reported cases in 2010 to nearly 22 million in 2020. This is why the EU now wants to introduce legislation that makes it “mandatory for companies to detect, report and remove child sexual abuse online”. Tomorrow, Johansson added, the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe is to approve the Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on enhanced cooperation and disclosure of electronic evidence. This will be “an essential modernisation that makes the Budapest Convention ready for the future”, to be ready to “face European and global challenges”.

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