Ambassador Grace Asirwatham and Sri Lanka’s delegate to T-CY, SL CERT Director and the ICTA General Counsel Jayantha Fernando (left) at the signing ceremony at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg
- Becomes first in the region to sign Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime on enhanced co-operation and disclosure of electronic evidence of the Council of Europe
Sri Lanka recently signed the Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime on Enhanced Cooperation and Disclosure of Electronic Evidence of the Council of Europe.
The signing was at a ceremony held at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, in the presence of Council of Europe Deputy Secretary General Bjorn Berge, Head of Protocol, Head of Treaty Office and delegates to the 27th Plenary Meeting of the T-CY.
Sri Lanka’s signatory was Ambassador Grace Asirwatham whilst Sri Lanka’s delegate to T-CY, SL CERT Director and the ICTA General Counsel Jayantha Fernando also attended the ceremony.
Sri Lanka was the first South Asian country to join the Budapest Cybercrime Convention in 2015, as well as the first to sign the Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Cybercrime Convention on Enhanced Cooperation and Disclosure of Electronic Evidence.
The Second Additional Protocol to the Cybercrime Convention was opened for signature just six months ago. Since then, 24 countries have signed it and recently six more joined in including Sri Lanka. The other five were European countries Croatia, the Republic of Moldova, Slovenia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
On 29 November 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a joint Cabinet Memorandum submitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, Prison Affairs, and Constitutional Reforms recommending Sri Lanka sign the Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime on Enhanced Cooperation and Disclosure of Electronic Evidence.
It enables Sri Lanka to secure electronic evidence from Foreign Service providers for cybercrime related investigations and prosecutions. It also includes new human rights safeguards with additional provisions on data protection which provides for more effective responses to Cybercrime challenges globally.
Ambassador Asirwatham delivering a statement at the event said: “The lessons learned during the negotiation of the Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention helped Sri Lankan experts to formulate and enact the first Data Protection Legislation in South Asia, through Act No. 9 of 2022”, noting that Sri Lanka’s Data Protection Act provisions are in line with the Second Additional Protocol.
She also appreciated the support extended to Sri Lanka by the Council of Europe through capacity-building programs under the Global Action Against Cybercrime (GLACY) project, funded by the Council of Europe and the European Union and reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment to work closely with the Council of Europe and the States Parties to the Convention on Cybercrime to achieve the goals of the Convention.