Budapest Convention

Primarily known as the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, the Budapest Convention or the convention on cybercrime is the world’s first international treaty designed to focus on increasing cybercrime. It came into the picture in 2001 and entered into force on July 1, 2004.

The treaty had three prime objectives, including the improvement in investigative techniques, increase in the cooperation among nations, and lastly, harmonising national laws. Apart from these, the participating countries needed to embrace legislation outlawing specified cyber-related crimes along with several definite evidence-gathering rules.

The Council of Europe drew it in Strasbourg, France, and 64 countries that endorsed the Budapest Convention on cybercrime. These countries include Canada, Japan, the Philippines, South Africa, the United States, and others.

Some of the significant cyber offences that the Budapest Convention attended include illegal access, data interference, illegal interception, misuse of devices, system interference, cyber fraud, cyber forgery, offences in child pornography, and offences concerning neighbouring rights and copyright.

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Overview of Article

To prepare for competitive exams like the IAS exam, where a basic understanding of the Budapest Convention and topics related to the same is extremely important, it is essential to have a thorough understanding.

Moreover, as an IAS aspirant, you need to drive your focus on more critical areas that might fetch you a higher rank in your UPSC prelims and even in mains.

Today, in this article, we will be studying the Budapest Convention in detail. Apart from this, we will be highlighting the current issues related to the Budapest Convention, its context with India, and lastly, the Russia-led Convention.

Read about India-Russia Relations at the linked article.

Significance in UPSC Prelims/ Mains

Preparing and sitting for the IAS exam is a dream of many that require dedicated efforts and a thorough understanding of each concept. In the UPSC prelims and mains, this topic holds significance. Also, important questions are asked from this very topic in the interview. Hence, you need to be well-prepared before sitting for your You can also download the Budapest Convention PDF. So, if you’re ready, let’s get into it!

Current Issues in the Budapest Convention

The Budapest Convention acts as a guideline for countries on their path to developing comprehensive national legislation against cybercrime. However, as per the latest updates, mainly all stakeholders said yes to the fact that for the upcoming digital age, the current form of cross-border data sharing for law enforcement through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) is insufficient.

However, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether to develop an entirely new system for cybercrimes or revamp the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). Since its formation in 2001, the convention wanted India to be a part of it; however, India decided not to participate.

Budapest Convention Context with India

Since the beginning, India has successfully held its status high as a non-member of the Budapest Convention led by Europe. Although, a controversy where India voted to set up a separate convention favouring a Russian-led UN resolution is still prevalent. As per the reports released by the IB or the Intelligence Bureau, sharing data with foreign law enforcement agencies violates India’s national sovereignty.

Another argument that India strongly presented previously is that we are not ready to sign the same since the Budapest convention treaty was drafted without its participation.

IAS aspirants must also familiarise themselves with India’s Bilateral Relations with other countries. These diplomatic relations are important from the UPSC exam perspective.

Other Related Links

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Russia-led Convention

In contrast to the Budapest Convention, Russia proposed to set up a separate convention entitled “Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes” that was recently put forward in the UNGA, the United Nations General Assembly.

This proposal that India voted for calls for creating a new committee that will convene in New York in August 2020. As per this treaty, the nation-states can coordinate and share data to the prevailing cybercrime.

On the grounds of national sovereignty issues, China and Russia questioned the Budapest Convention, resulting in forming the Russia-led Convention.

This convention goes beyond what the Budapest Convention offers regarding cross-border access to data.

As a result, many countries like India started to support the Russia-led Convention and voted to support the same. If the Russia-led Convention gets approved by the UNGA, it will be the world’s second international treaty on cybercrime, followed by the Budapest Convention.

With considerable support, the Russia-led Convention has been criticised drastically, especially by American entities and Several human rights groups.


With this, we end our discussion about the Budapest Convention, Russia-led Convention, Budapest Convention India, and its importance in the IAS exam. We hope these UPSC notes have helped you better understand the Budapest Convention and contributed to your IAS preparation.

BYJU’S is one of India’s leading platforms providing an extensive range of study material for IAS aspirants and students preparing for other competitive exams. Our study materials are specially curated by subject experts who confidently help you with the IAS preparation.


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