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Australia launches new international strategy to protect its cyberspace

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The Australian Government has just launched the International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy, providing safe and secure cyberspace for the country and its international neighbours. 

This Strategy comes as technology is changing the way we live and work, and impacting economic, strategic and foreign policy developments,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne. 

The International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy replaced the 2017 International Cyber Engagement Strategy, the country’s first cyber engagement strategy.

This time, the Government’s goals are to strengthen national security, protect democracy and sovereignty, promote economic growth, and pursue international peace and stability under the country’s national interests. They also centred the Strategy on three key pillars: values, security and prosperity.  

Minister Payne said its framework will guide the country‘s practical international engagement across cyber and critical technology issues to create an environment that embraces the opportunities of innovation in cyberspace while avoiding and mitigating the risks. 

In order to support cyber and critical technology resilience in the country, the Government commits to doing the following: 

  • co-sponsor a proposal to establish a new United Nations Program of Action for Responsible State Behaviour in Cyberspace 
  • change the flagship Cyber Cooperation Program to the Cyber and Critical Tech Cooperation Program and include an additional $20.5 million to strengthen cyber and critical technology resilience in Southeast Asia 
  • contribute $17 million to support neighbours in the Pacific to strengthen their cyber capabilities and resilience, improve online safety, and counter disinformation and misinformation 
  • support a partnership with Standards Australia in Southeast Asia, a partnership with the University of Technology, Sydney in Southeast Asia and a partnership with Trustwave in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu 

Aside from the announcement of the Strategy, Minister Payne also reveals the three projects that have been awarded funding under the first round of the Australia-India Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership program: 

  • The Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney and the Observer Research Foundation to develop ethical frameworks and best practices for emerging quantum technologies
  • La Trobe University and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur  to operationalise ethical frameworks in the critical technology supply chains of global companies
  • The School of Computer Science at the University of Sydney, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Reliance Jio and the University of New South Wales  to address privacy and security challenges in next-generation telecommunications networks

The grants program is in line with the Strategy as it exists to enhance practical cooperation and collaboration between the two countries on cyber and critical technology issues, helping shape a global technology environment that meets a shared vision of an open, free, rules-based Indo-Pacific region.

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