This past Monday(November 12), French President Emmanuel Macron launched the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, a high-level declaration on developing common principles for securing cyberspace and enhancing efforts against malicious online activity. The initiative has been supported by several states, along with private companies and civil society organizations.
Supporters of the Paris Call are committed to engage in preventive steps against malicious online activity; protecting the accessibility and integrity of the internet; cooperate to prevent interference in electoral processes; combat online intellectual property violations; prevent the proliferation of malicious online programmes and techniques; improve the security status of digital products and services as well as everybody’s “cyber hygiene”; clamp down on online mercenary activities and offensive action by non-state actors and work together to strengthen relevant international standards.
Read more: Examining the Cybercrime Law
The call has been supported by 51 states. However, three crucial players on the international stage — the US, Russia and China — have opted out of pledging support for the French government’s initiative. Despite the US government’s reluctance, a number of American tech giants, including Facebook, Google and Microsoft, have signed on.
Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia and North Korea also refrained from signing the pledge.
American media network CNBC has reported that talks “are continuing” with Washington DC to determine whether it will become a signatory. The Trump administration is well known for avoiding such regulatory commitments.
The office of President Macron released a statement on Monday, saying “now that that half of humanity is online, we need to find new ways to organize the internet” to keep it “free, open, and secure.”
The French government’s choice of date for launching the initiative — a day after a weekend of commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of World War One — is being seen as a push for stronger global cooperation against aggressive nationalism.