Draft law on implementation of Convention of Cybercrimes threatens Internet governance in Ukraine

On Feb 27, 2018, representatives of Internet Association of Ukraine published online the сopy of draft law on implementation of Convention of Cybercrimes. The draft law contains 14 pages and might be initiated by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to be submitted to the Parliament of Ukraine.

photo by Berliner.Gazette / creative commons

There is an assumption, that the draft law was reviewed by National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization (NCSRC) in Kyiv on Feb 27, 2018. NCSRC is a state collective body, subordinated to the President of Ukraine and accountable to the Parliament. The NCCIR is an authority of state regulation in the areas of telecommunications and informatization.

The draft law introduces some important norms, including introduction of digital (electronic) evidences to be used during court hearings (it was not regulated before).

On the other hand, the draft law introduces some restrictive measures to regulate Internet and recalls the law №6688 (see bellow).  

The key statements of the law provide:

  • the norm of “temporary restriction of access to information resources and websites” to be included to Criminal Procedural Code of Ukraine;
  • the temporary restriction of access to websites (information resources) might be based on court and pre court decisions up to 90 days, in some cases – up to 3 years;
  • the decision of temporary restriction of access to websites might be initiated by a prosecutor or an investigator;
  • amendments to the Law on telecommunications to be introduced, providing ISPs obliged to assist “subjects of the national system of cyber security”;
  • Article 39 of Law on telecommunication provides definitions of restricted content, including propaganda of war, hate speech, overthrow of the constitutional order, violent change of territorial integrity of Ukraine, child pornography, violations of author’s rights (copyright), fraud, gambling, illegal dissemination of arms and explosives, illegal distribution of drugs;
  • Article 39 of Law on telecommunication provides ISPa should form lists of “end users” and provide their names on demand of law enforcement agencies;
  • ISPs should keep the browsing data on servers up to 90 days, in some cases up to 3 years;

Note: Draft Law №6688 «On Introducing Changes to certain Acts of Ukraine on countering threats to national security in the information sphere» was submitted to the Parliament on July 12, 2017 and contained defects at the level of definitions of terms (“technological terrorism”, which may include large volumes of socially meaningful information) and envisages extra-judicial blocking of sites by investigating authorities, an unlimited period of blocking by a court, and so on.

Also read our analysis of legislation on regulations of Internet freedom and digital rights of users in Ukraine.

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