The 88-to-58 vote — with 34 abstentions — takes the assembly one step closer to a treaty. If the General Assembly adopts the resolution next month, a committee of experts will convene in August in New York to draft terms of reference guiding the writing of a treaty.
“This will divert resources to years of treaty negotiations and undermine urgent, real-time cooperation on cybercrime cases,” said a State Department official, who like other officials interviewed on the matter spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.
Russia has framed the treaty as an alternative to the Budapest Convention, a 2001 accord whose aim is to foster international cooperation in cybercrime matters and that is subject to rule-of-law and human rights safeguards. But Western officials say the new agreement is intended to establish a U.N.-endorsed standard that would permit the blocking of websites deemed critical of government authorities and the use of digital technologies to monitor dissidents.
“This is not about cybercrime,” said a European official. “This is about who controls the Internet.”