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Building a Safer Internet – Advocate, Validate, Educate

By Alison Howe

5 February is Safer Internet Day, a global initiative in some 140 countries to raise awareness of emerging online issues. At ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre we are pleased to support this initiative.

A safer internet is at the core of what we do. We engage with international and national media on unfolding incidents, events and developments. We regularly organise public events on pressing issues in the online environment that shape strategic policy direction. And we have become very active in the area of capacity-building and exercises: in the Asia-Pacific region and in Australia.

On the occasion of Safer Internet Day 2019, ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is introducing a 3-year project that looks at improving the security of the Australian internet through the adoption of international security standards. These standards are technical means to ensure a secure exchange of information over the Internet. Adoption is voluntary and non-binding and is reliant on goodwill and incentives.

“The Internet Society (ISOC) promotes an open, globally-connected, secure and trustworthy Internet. The use of open standards developed by open processes such as that of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the premier Internet standards body, plays an important role in achieving this. We welcome initiatives such as these which take a multi-stakeholder approach and aim to strengthen everyday users’ ability to be safe and secure online”, said Rajnesh Singh, Chief, Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau at the Internet Society.

With support from auDA, the policy authority and self-regulatory body for the .au domain space, the International Cyber Policy Centre will develop a public test tool. This tool will validate websites, email accounts and connections against standards that are considered international good practice.

Cameron Boardman, CEO of auDA said: “We are really excited about this cooperation with ASPI. It allows us to build bridges between strategic policy makers, businesses and end-users, and our stakeholders – domain name registrars and operators in the IT industry”.

This initiative draws on examples that International Cyber Policy Centre experts have observed elsewhere and from the Centre’s membership of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise.

“This initiative by ASPI is a great example of expertise and experience being shared across the global community. The GFCE Internet Infrastructure Initiative aims to share global good practices making best use of state-of-the-art global open internet standards, with support from the Internet.nl portal”, says Maarten Botterman, GFCE project leader.

A safe internet is a community-wide and multi-stakeholder effort. Whether its government, industry, the tech community, civil society or the user-consumer, we all have our own rights and duties. This project will enhance opportunities for proper due diligence by users and consumers, small businesses as well as internet service providers.

Stakeholder consultations meetings are scheduled for February and March 2019; as follows:

MELBOURNE CONSULTATION
Date: Friday 22nd February 2019
Time: 11:00 hrs – 13:00 hrs
Venue: Joint Cyber Security Centre
Level 32, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne

CANBERRA CONSULTATION
Date: Friday March 1st 2019
Time: 11.00hrs – 13.00hrs
Venue: ASPI Offices
40 Macquarie St, Barton
ACT 2600

SYDNEY CONSULTATION
Date: Monday 4th March 2019
Time: 10:00 hrs – 12:30 hrs
Venue: Joint Cyber Security Centre
Level 25, Tower 2, Darling Park
201 Sussex Street, Sydney

If you would like to participate in building a safer internet, please contact ASPI here.