Australia’s International Cyber Engagement Strategy

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade invited submissions to develop Australia’s inaugural International Cyber Engagement Strategy.

The Government’s Cyber Security Strategy, released in April 2016, recognised the need for Australia to partner internationally to ensure our international cyber engagement advances our interests, as well as our values. To this end, the Government committed to publishing an International Cyber Engagement Strategy, including taking input from a wide range of interested parties.

In our submission to the Ambassador for Cyber Affairs, we’ve argued that the International Cyber Engagement Strategy should contain a robust commitment to privacy. We suggest that Australia should move to become a global leader in privacy, and particularly in developing a new international treaty to regulate surveillance in cyberspace.

Digital Rights Watch believes that the International Cyber Engagement Strategy should demonstrate respect for Australia’s democratic tradition. Australia could do much better at creating an informed and empowering public discussion for citizens concerned about their digital rights. It could also show greater respect for the importance of public accountability and transparency in government when it comes to matters that affect digital rights.

We think this could be a good opportunity to modernise Australia’s copyright laws to make them fairer, and believe that a modern and fair system of copyright will need to be an integral part of the International Cyber Engagement Strategy. We are also of the strong mind that the International Cyber Engagement Strategy should be structured to protect freedom, with a strong culture of protecting freedom of speech that applies to both businesses and governments.

Read our full submission here.