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Australia and America working on global no-state-hacking pact

Turnbull goes to Washington, calls for Coalition of the Blogging to defeat ISIL

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has visited Washington, DC, and called for internet governance to be made independent of governments and a global no-hack pact.

“Every aspect of our lives has been transformed by the digital world of the Internet,” Turnbull told the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“We must ensure, as free nations, that the Internet continues to be governed by the communities that use it – not dominated by Governments” he added, before remarking “Australia, the United States and others will work together internationally to promote norms of behaviour that are consistent with a free, open and secure internet.”

“They include that states should not knowingly conduct or support cyber-enabled intellectual property theft for commercial advantage.”

Turnbull went on to say that talks on the “norms of behaviour” would commence on Tuesday, US time.

The prime minister also said he will speak with US president Obama about online combat with ISIL, a group he said is successful with its online propaganda efforts because “... the Iraqi Government and other anti ISIL forces are not reacting quickly enough to contradict ISIL’s online messages which have been used both to recruit new fighters and demoralise those who oppose them and we should help them with this.”

“ISIL claims must be mocked and disproved as soon as they are made. The cybersphere demands reactions as rapid as the kinetic battlefield.”

Turnbull said Australia is already working with “partners in South East Asia to improve the effectiveness of our counter narrative online” and added he was “pleased to see heightened cooperation here in Washington between the Government and the private sector telcos, software developers, and social media platforms to that end.”

“I am looking forward to further progressing our cooperation in this field in the course of my discussions with the President tomorrow.”

Australia signed up for Gulf Wars One and Two, but Turnbull's speech ruled out Australian boots on the ground in ISIL-held territory (and argued against any Western boots there, too). A “coalition of the blogging” will be much easier to create, require rather less effort an be far more in tune with the prime minister's belief that digitally technology is a fine way to do almost anything, from stimulating the economy to reforming government and even erecting a surveillance state. ®

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