UN Group Releases Report on the International Security of Information and Communications Technologies

The 2015 Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security released its report containing recommendations to address threats that stem from the use of information and communications technologies (“ICTs”) by both states and non-states.  The group was composed of governmental experts from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, China, Estonia, France, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea, and Spain.  The report contained sections explaining threats to ICTs, norms to influence state behavior, confidence-building measures, international cooperation for capacity-building, and the applicability of international law to the use of ICTs.

Highlights from the report include (all of the proposed norms are voluntary and non-binding):

  • The responsibility to secure ICTs rest largely on States, and each state has jurisdiction over the ICT infrastructure located within its territory.
  • States should respond to requests by other states to mitigate malicious ICT activity aimed at another’s critical infrastructure being conducted within its territory.
  • States should cooperate with each other on prosecuting terrorist and criminal use of ICTs.
  • States should encourage reporting and share information on known ICT vulnerabilities and appropriate remedies.
  • Creating bilateral, multilateral, and regional partnerships to increase transparency and cooperation with an aim to build confidence and trust between nations.
  • Creating a directory of contacts at the policy and technical levels within governments to increase communications between nations to address ICT incidents
  • Strengthening mechanisms by which agencies from different nations can cooperate to address ICT incidents.
  • Developed states should provide developing states with assistance and training to develop countries to improve security of the ICTs.
  • International law, in Particular the Charter of the United Nations, applies to the use of ICTs.

The report concludes by emphasizing the role of the United Nations in promoting dialogue and developing common understandings of the application of international law to the use of ICTs.  Further, the group acknowledged that although states have the primary responsibility to secure ICTs, a combined effort between states, the private sector, academia, and civil society organizations will greatly benefit the international effort.

The full report can be found here.



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One Response to “UN Group Releases Report on the International Security of Information and Communications Technologies”

  1. […] to developing nations to improve their cybersecurity capabilities. (Interestingly enough, this very same suggestion was made by a UN group in the context of the cybersecurity of information and communications technologies […]

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Professor William Snyder

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