Today marks the first anniversary of the launch of The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace initiative. The Paris Call, spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, seeks to bring together countries, industries, and civil societies to ensure peace and security in the digital space. The Paris Call agreement was launched at last year’s Paris Peace Forum, where we also delivered our petition demanding that world leaders stop weaponize the internet. As a movement with digital peace built into its very fabric, we’re celebrating the progress we’ve already seen from The Paris Call and look forward to seeing what is yet to come.
What makes this initiative worth celebrating?
For starters, the international agreement features nine principles designed to end malicious cyberattacks, strengthen cybersecurity practices, and promote responsible behavior online. These principles represent a new promise of international cooperation and conduct for our shared digital space, but also have impact far beyond the internet. For example, the third principle asks all parties to strengthen cybersecurity around the electoral process. Given the cyberattacks that have targeted American and French elections, among others, it is crucial that this is addressed. Attacks on the election process can be disruptive to election outcomes, but also erode trust in the process itself.
We’re not the only ones celebrating The Paris Call anniversary. With cyberattacks increasing in sophistication and scale around the world, it’s no surprise the agreement swiftly gained momentum. In the past year alone, support has more than tripled! The Paris Call now has over 1,000 supporters worldwide. So far, 78 nations, 29 public authorities/local governments, 347 civil society organizations, and 642 private sector entities are proud members of The Paris Call. As we face another uncertain year of malicious attacks, the momentum will not likely slow down either.
This type of multi-stakeholder approach to building cyber norms and best practices is a groundbreaking step towards digital peace. What does that mean? This initiative specifically seeks entities with a wide range of interests and motivations to help drive the mission forward. As the largest multi-stakeholder cybersecurity commitment to date, The Paris Call asks governments, private corporations, and civil society organizations to help shape and improve security and stability in cyberspace. With state and non-state entities coming together to implement and expand the initiative’s nine principles, The Paris Call offers a united front to take on the multifaceted task of establishing trust and security online.
Over the past few months, members have held roundtable discussions on how to advance the Paris Call principles worldwide. Each ach member is empowered to create initiatives rooted in the principles. As a result, The Paris Call communities began to form, with each community dedicated to furthering one of the agreement’s nine principles. For example, Microsoft and the Alliance for Securing Democracy established The Paris Call Community on Countering Election Interference, which is rooted in the third principle. As you’d imagine, their primary focus is to defend electoral processes from cyberattacks and other interferences.
With the digital world and the physical world becoming more intertwined with each passing minute, now is the time to promote cyber cooperation. We need to encourage governments, civil societies, and corporations to get behind clear principles and establish a strong united front to face the challenges ahead. As The Paris Call continues to gain support around the world, we could be witnessing the path towards digital peace unfold before us. We can’t wait to see what another year of the Paris Call brings.
If you haven’t yet, please visit The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace website and learn more about its nine principles.