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US Secretary of State lays out 5 principles for international cybersecurity

Brian Honan | May 20, 2015
On Monday the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, gave a wide ranging speech on cybersecurity and international cooperation at the Korea University in South Korea. The speech touched on many aspects of how the Internet has enriched the lives of many across the world. During his speech Mr. Kerry gave examples of children in refugee camps using the Internet for education, of fisherman in Mozambique being able to manage their fish stock thanks to the Internet, and how a doctors in Cameroon are able to remotely diagnose cardiac issues over the web. Mr. Kerry also highlighted how the Internet supported movements such as the Arab Spring , and has enabled freedom of expression and freedom of speech for those living in oppressed regimes.

Mr Kerry also called on all nations to work together to create a common framework for international cooperation in cyberspace and urged all countries to join to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.

Warning that any country who should seek to disrupt cyberspace or to attack others "will be held accountable for their actions", Mr Kerry stated the "United States reserves the right to use all necessary means, including economic, trade and diplomatic tools, as appropriate in order to defend our nation and our partners, our friends, our allies."

Many will see this speech as a very encouraging one and it may be the start of dialogue across many nations to work together to form a peaceful and stable online world. However, others will also point to how the United States itself has been called to task for allegedly launching a cyberattack against another nation in the form of Stuxnet and the allegations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden on how the NSA, and other western government spy agencies, have compromised the security and privacy of individuals and companies around the world.

Open dialogue will be essential to ensuring a safe and secure Internet for this generation and the generations to come. Perhaps this speech may be the first opening rounds of that dialogue.


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