Australia welcomes UN cyber report

Media release

13 August 2013

Australia has welcomed a new United Nations report affirming that international law applies to states' use of cyberspace.

In a report (A/68/98) released last week, the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security affirmed that international law, and in particular the UN Charter, applied to states' use of information and communications technologies.

It is the first time a UN group has come to such a conclusion.

The UN group was established by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012 to study existing and potential threats in the sphere of information security and how nations could cooperate to overcome them.

Australia congratulated the experts on their historic agreement and noted this breakthrough was made under the leadership of an Australian chair, Deborah Stokes, who is now Australia's High Commissioner in Port Moresby.

The report also highlighted the important role of confidence building measures to promote trust between states and help reduce the risk of conflict in cyberspace.

Australia now looks forward to working with international partners on how international law applies to states' use of cyberspace.

The UN group consisted of fifteen experts nominated by the Governments of Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.