ASEAN countries push for more cybersecurity

15 Nov 2018

ASEAN countries signed multiple statements on deepening cooperation in cybersecurity with various key partners. During the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN countries and their eight partners issued a statement on deepening cooperation in the security of information and communications technologies (ICTs), vowing to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible, and peaceful ICT environment; work together to protect their ICT networks and provide assistance to states that do not have sufficient capacities in this regard; foster cooperation to support a secure and resilient digital infrastructure; and strengthen cooperation on personal data protection. ASEAN countries also issued a joint statement with Russia, acknowledging the need to elaborate on the already proposed norms of responsible behaviour of states in cyberspace; the importance of developing a peaceful, secure, and resilient rules-based ICT environment; the need to prevent the use of information resources or technologies for criminal or terrorist purposes; and to narrow the digital divide. ASEAN countries stated they will consider the initiative of the Russian Federation on an ‘ASEAN-Russia Dialogue on ICT security-related issues’. On 16 November, ASEAN countries issued a statement on cybersecurity cooperation with the USA as well, pledging to strengthen cybersecurity in ASEAN; committing to promote norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace in peacetime developed by the UN Governmental Group of Experts (UN GGE) in 2015; and to explore ways and build capacities to counter the use of ICTs for terrorism as well as its forms and manifestations on the Internet. 

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Cyber-attacks can have a background in international relations, or bring about the consequences that can escalate to a political and diplomatic level. An increasing number of states appear to be developing their own cyber-tools for the defense, offence and intelligence related to cyberconflict.

The use of cyber-weapons by states - and, more generally, the behavior of states in cyberspace in relation to maintaining international peace and security - is moving to the top of the international agenda.

 

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