Submissions open for DFAT’s next strategy on international cyber and technology policy interests

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday April 23, 2020


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has called on industry, NGOs, civil society, academia and individuals to have their say on Australia’s first Cyber and Critical Technology International Engagement Strategy.

Due by June 16, the submissions will form part of a broader program of consultation, with the department to establish an expert advisory panel.

DFAT will also hold discussions across the federal government, as well as closed consultations with experts and key stakeholders.

The department’s first International Cyber Engagement Strategy was launched in October 2017, by then-foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop.

“Digital trade, cyber-enabled intellectual property theft, technology for development and operations to influence elections are some of the ways cyber affairs permeate our international conversations,” she wrote at the time.

Read more: Cyber-diplomacy: Australia’s aspirations for online peace and prosperity

The ICES will be updated this year to include critical technology, to reflect the “increasing interdependencies and linkages between our cyber and technology policy interests”. Led by ambassador for cyber affairs Tobias Feakin, DFAT argues the strategy has “established Australia as a leading international actor on cyber affairs”.

The department notes submissions on the new strategy must consider at least one of the following questions:

  • What should Australia’s key international cyber and critical technology objectives be? What are the values and principles Australia should promote regarding cyberspace and critical technology?
  • How will cyberspace and critical technology shape the international strategic/geopolitical environment out to 2030?
  • What technological developments and applications present the greatest risk and/or opportunities for Australia and the Indo-Pacific? How do we balance these risks and opportunities?
  • How should Australia pursue our cyber and critical technology interests internationally?
  • How can government, industry, civil society and academia cooperate to achieve Australia’s international cyber and critical technology interests?
  • What policies and frameworks exist in other countries that demonstrate best practice approach to international cyber and technology policy issues?

They must also include the name and contact details of the individual or body making the entry, and an overview of the author.

Submissions should be emailed to [email protected]

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