We Support The Paris Call, and You Should Too

With the increasing integration of technology into our daily lives, science fiction is almost a window into our future. For years, sci-fi movies and books depicted futuristic technology like 3D printers, driverless cars, and artificial intelligence. However, thanks to the talented people working in STEM fields, these imagined inventions have come to life. Such technologies, once only imagined, now have real-world applications that have improved the quality of our daily lives.

Call us idyllic technocrats, but by witnessing science fiction become a reality thanks to our modern-day innovations, we truly believe the power of digital technologies can help solve society’s toughest challenges.

However, our present is jeopardizing the promise of our digital-enabled future. Even though we’re more connected than ever before, it seems as if states are growing further apart. As governments continue to develop cyber weapons, their actions only reinforce division and perpetuate feelings of mistrust.

With polarizing times comes troubling trends. Cyberattacks continue to grow in sophistication and scale. From ransomware incidents to IoT attacks, disruptive digital weapons have impacted the lives of millions. Over 60 states continue to invest in offensive cyber capabilities, even turning toward AI-enabled systems to enhance their military operations.

Not all is lost though. Almost three years ago, French President Emmanuel Macron launched the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace agreement at the Paris Peace Forum—a call for digital unity between states, civil society, and industry. The initiative looks beyond politics, power, and frankly, the present. The Paris Call seeks to underline the crucial role cyberspace plays in our future and rally society’s collective voice to ensure a safe digital world.

Since then, 79 states, 391 civil society members, and 705 private companies have endorsed the nine principles designed to end malicious cyberattacks, strengthen cybersecurity practices, and promote responsible behavior online. The principles are almost entirely based on cyber norms that are recognized by the United Nations and have been advocated for and endorsed by all states via the recent Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on cybersecurity consensus report.

Some critical democratic states, including the United States, India, Brazil, and South Africa, have yet to officially support the Paris Call’s nine principles that promote a secure online world. To protect citizens worldwide and stop the proliferation of state-sponsored cyberattacks, these governments must engage in cyber diplomacy and promote the wide spread acceptance and implementation of international norms to protect cyberspace. By fostering a community of mutual understanding, democratic leaders can ignite a global desire for digital peace and establish productive cyber cooperation globally.

We write this to all world leaders, civil society organizations, and industry executives: you have a responsibility to keep the Internet from becoming a battlefield. Use your insight and influence to help guide the future toward innovation, integration, and peace. We are sitting on the precipice of a digital evolution epoch, and it’s your job to bring us together to ensure trust and security in cyberspace is not lost.

So, from the thousands of digital citizens that believe in both you and our digital futures – We strongly ask to please #PickUpTheParisCall!

Click HERE to endorse The Paris Call.

— Written by Gurmehar Kaur and Raj Burli, Digital Peace Now’s Global Ambassadors