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Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade calls for submissions for country’s inaugural International Cyber Engagement Strategy

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade calls for submissions for country’s inaugural International Cyber Engagement Strategy

Australia's interests in cyberspace are diverse. The nation’s international cyber engagement covers trade, international security, transnational crime, international law and human rights obligations (including freedom of speech and privacy), internet governance and development assistance.  These issues are at the core of Australia's strategic foreign policy development and represent a central theme of our diplomatic efforts.

The Government's Cyber Security Strategy, released in April 2016, recognised the need for Australia to partner internationally to ensure her international cyber engagement advances her interests, as well as her values.  To this end, the Government committed to publishing an International Cyber Engagement Strategy. Australia’s imperative to partner internationally for cybersecurity is similar to Singapore’s forth component of their national cybersecurity strategy which was officially launched by Prime Minister Lee in October 2016.

The purpose of the International Cyber Engagement Strategy is threefold. First, it will prioritise and coordinate Australia's whole of government international engagement on cyber issues. Second, it will ensure stakeholders understand Australia's key positions on cyber issues being debated internationally. Third, it will provide the basis for creative partnering arrangements for delivering Australia's objectives in cyberspace, harnessing combined efforts of Government, private sector, academia and civil society.

Australia's Ambassador for Cyber Affairs, Dr Tobias Feakin, leads the development of the whole-of-government strategy, which will be released in 2017.

In order to deliver the most inclusive, ambitious and dynamic strategy possible, engagement across the full range of interested stakeholders is needed. This is a timely opportunity to help shape Australia's first International Cyber Engagement Strategy, and to directly contribute to the development of the most beneficial cyber environment for all in the years to come.

Submissions can consider the following key issues or questions. This is not an exhaustive list but is designed to stimulate debate and discussion. Submissions are welcomed on these and any other issues one considers relevant to inform Australia's approach to International Cyber Engagement. 

  • What does an ideal international cyberspace environment for Australia comprise?
  • Which countries matter most to Australia's international cyber interests? Why and in what ways? How should Australia deepen and diversify key relationships?
  • How can Australia's international cyber engagement best support a free, open and secure Internet?
  • How should Australia promote responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, including through the development of norms and application of existing international law?
  • How can the Commonwealth Government work more effectively with the private sector, academia, civil society and the states and territories to advance Australia's international interests in cyberspace, including through the delivery of joint capacity building programs? 

Participants and contributors are reminded to send in their ideas and contributions by 31 March 2017.

Read the full media release and find out more here

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