Computer Crimes Bill advances at committee level with input form specialists
14 diciembre 2018

On December 11, the Senate Public Security Committee continued the debate on the bill that modifies the law on computer crimes and would bring Chilean legislation into line with the Budapest Convention (Exp. 12192). The session was attended by Marcelo Drago, President of the Transparency Council, and Alejandro Hevia, a computer crime specialist from the University of Chile. Both supported the core elements of the bill but recommended improvements over the protection of personal data and in the use of reverse research to promote greater security. The committee will continue debating the bill next week.

The session began with a presentation from the Council for Transparency, focused on the protection of personal data. It questioned the introduction of the aggravating factor to the crime of using identity encryption technologies in computer networks, explaining that this mechanism is used worldwide to protect people’s cybersecurity. They recommended removing from the bill the article that denotes this crime.

They also criticized the introduction of an article that will oblige companies to keep users’ browsing data for two years. They argued that this constitutes an “open and indeterminate restriction on the right to private life”. Hence they suggested modifying this provision replacing it with other tools that can allow for effective criminal investigations but are less damaging to privacy rights.

For his part, Alejandro Hevia, a specialist in computer crimes from the University of Chile gave a presentation on defending the use of reverse computer engineering as a mechanism to promote new cybersecurity tools. This mechanism, which consists of the testing of computer programs through hacking attempts controlled by specialists, is restricted by the bill, which Hevia considers harmful for the development of the sector. He urged the committee to remove these restrictions.