US and 26 other countries sign resolution to advance responsible state behavior online

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The United States joined 26 other countries in signing a joint resolution on Monday aimed at advancing responsible state behavior in cyberspace as part of the United National General Assembly.  

The countries, which mostly included Euorpean states, affirmed their commitment to the “international rules-based order” in cyberspace, including the protection of human rights both online and offline.

{mosads}“As responsible states that uphold the international rules-based order, we recognize our role in safeguarding the benefits of a free, open, and secure cyberspace for future generations,” the countries wrote in the resolution. “When necessary, we will work together on a voluntary basis to hold states accountable when they act contrary to this framework, including by taking measures that are transparent and consistent with international law. There must be consequences for bad behavior in cyberspace.”

The other signatories were Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

Countries traditionally cited as those carrying out “bad behavior” in cyberspace, such as Russia and China, did not sign on to the agreement. 

Former special counsel Robert Mueller found that Russia carried out a campaign to interfere in the U.S. 2016 presidential election through both hacking and disinformation operations, while China has been found to steal U.S. intellectual property. 

The joint resolution was signed the same day the U.S. co-hosted the second Ministerial Meeting on Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace as part of U.N. General Assembly, alongside the Netherlands and Australia. 

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said during the meeting that “fostering responsible state behavior in cyberspace is now integral to safeguarding international peace and security.”

“We as an international community must come together to mainstream and make universal well-established standards for state behavior in cyberspace and hold accountable those who transgress them,” Sullivan said. 

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