Christopher Painter, the US State Department’s Coordinator for Cyber Issues, conducted an insightful interview last week on cyber diplomacy, norms and whole-of-government approaches to cybersecurity. Painter, who is the lead negotiator on the US – China cybersecurity working group, spoke about the opportunities the dialogue presents and the challenges that differing views of cyberspace presents for policy formation. He also spoke positively about the recent consensus reached in the UN Group of Government Experts (UNGGE).
The UNGGE on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of Information Security recently released the report from its June meeting. The gathering was significant as it saw landmark consensus on the applicability of international law, in particular the UN charter, to cyberspace. The group of 15 experts including representatives from Russia and China was chaired by Australian Deborah Stokes, now Australia’s High Commissioner to PNG.
Soo-Kyung Koo has written an in-depth piece on the issues of cyberattack attribution in South Korea. She argues that whilst North Korea remains a threat to the South’s online environment, those in government are often too quick in pointing the finger of blame at Pyongyang, when the real culprits may lie within their own borders.
Closer to home, the Attorney-General’s Department has produced Australia’s first National Security Capability plan. The Guide to Australia’s National Security Capability, which is a public version of the classified capability report, lays out the practical roles agencies are playing in support of the 2013 National Security strategy, and includes a case study on the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
The guide was launched by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus at the 25th meeting of the Security in Government Conference last week in Canberra. At the conference, the Attorney-General gave a wide ranging speech that touched on the role of interception, safeguards and privacy, and the impact of the Edward Snowden leaks both domestically and internationally.