Romania implements Cybercrime Convention

By EDRi · May 5, 2004

Romania has implemented the Cybercrime Convention with law nr. 64 from 24 March 2004. The law was published in the Official Monitor nr. 343, on 20 April 2004.

The main provisions of the Cybercrime Convention were already incorporated in Title III of the Anti-corruption law nr. 161/2003, published in the Official Monitor nr. 279 from 21 April 2003.

The Cybercrime Convention defines nine offences: illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference, misuse of devices, computer-related forgery, computer-related fraud, offences related to child pornography and, notably, offences related to copyright and neighbouring rights. Signatory states have to establish a common minimum standard of relevant offences under their domestic law.

Under Romanian law, the first 2 offences are very broadly defined and will be punished severely: “The illegal access to a computer system is a crime and is punished with imprisonment from 6 months to 3 years. If access is gained by infringing security measures, the punishment is imprisonment from 3 to 12 years..

and: “Illegal interception of any transmission of computer date that is not published to, from or within a computer system is a criminal offence and is punished with imprisonment from 2 to 7 years..

Scary is the provision in article 47 that even the intent to commit the 2 offences described above, is a crime.

Already a student is being tried under the new cybercrime provisions. Dan Dumitru Ciobanu was arrested in January 2004 for releasing a modified version of the Blaster worm via the intranet of the Hydrotechnical University in Iasi, in September 2003. He faces between 3 and 15 years in jail for ‘unlawful possession of a program and disturbing a computer system’.

The Cybercrime Convention will enter into force on 4 July 2004, following the necessary 5th ratification by Lithuania in March 2004.

Unofficial translation of the Romanian cybercrime law

Cybercrime Convention (23.11.2001)

Romanian Blaster trial kicks off Friday (19.01.2004)

(Contribution by Bogdan Manolea, Romanian legal expert)