Q2/2019 - French G7 Presidency

G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting, Saint Malo, 5 - 6 April 2019

At the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Saint Malo on 6 April 2019, a declaration on a G7 cyber norm initiative (CNI/Dinard Declaration on the Cyber Norm Initiative) was adopted. The CNI aims at a better exchange of experiences (best practice and lessons learned) when dealing with the recommendations for a norm-compliant behaviour of states in cyberspace based on the UN Charter as well as corresponding confidence-building measures as contained in the reports of the UN GGEs of 2010, 2013 and 2015. This shall also foster optimised coordinated preparations for the negotiations on cyber security in the two new UN working groups (OEWG & GGE), which will begin in September 2019.

The CNI includes four commitments:

  • Better exchange of information to enhance the understanding of the role of voluntary, non-binding norms for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace;
  • Share best practices and lessons learned with states that are not members to G7;
  • Engage in extended cooperation to build confidence in cyberspace (CBMCs), and
  • Help build capabilities to implement the agreed norms and CBMCs[1]

G7 Interior Ministers Meeting, Paris, 5 April 2019

At the G7 Interior Ministers meeting in Paris on 5 April 2019, a G7 document titled "Combating the Use of the Internet for Terrorist and Violent Extremist Purposes" was adopted in the light of the terrorist attack in Christchurch. The document contains 16 guidelines to prevent the abuse of the Internet for terrorism and propaganda inciting violence.[2]

The document reaffirms the need for closer cooperation between governments and online platforms. Where voluntary commitments do not lead to a satisfactory result with regard to the removal of terrorist content, legislative action by the G7 countries is necessary. The decision of the G7 conference in Toronto (2018) to further develop the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) as the global coordinating point was confirmed. Attention was drawn to the fact that the willingness of large online platforms to cooperate has grown, but that small online platforms were often unable to implement the relevant decisions.

It was complained that law enforcement authorities encountered obstacles in their investigations in many cases as they did not have unhindered access to data, in particular to encrypted electronic communications. Access to these data for law enforcement authorities had to be extended in the interest of successful terrorist investigations; however, due respect for universal human rights had to be guaranteed in this context.[3]

Mehr zum Thema
  1. [1] Dinard Declaration on the Cyber Norm Initiative, Saint Malo, France, April 6, 2019: „As our societies become increasingly digitalized, reinforcing trust, security and stability in cyberspace is critical in order to ensure that all actors can fully enjoy its benefits. We remain committed to promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyberspace for all, where the application of international law and fundamental freedoms are promoted and human rights are protected online. In this context, we recall with appreciation that the General Assembly has affirmed that international law, and in particular the Charter of the United Nations, is applicable and is essential to maintaining peace and stability and promoting an open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful Information and Communications Technology (ICT) environment. We also recall the conclusions of the 2010, 2013 and 2015 reports of the Groups of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security, transmitted by the UN Secretary General and consensually endorsed by the UN General Assembly, which called on all states to be guided in their use of ICTs by these reports. These reports notably stressed that rules, principles and voluntary and non-binding norms of responsible behavior of States in the use of ICTs can reduce risks to international peace, security and stability and that confidence-building measures strengthen international peace and security and can increase inter-state cooperation, transparency, predictability and stability. We affirm our willingness to establish a Cyber Norm Initiative (CNI) dedicated to sharing best practices and lessons learned on the implementation of previously recognized voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible State behavior. We encourage, where possible, other interested partners to join us in this endeavor or to complete a similar exercise. This would contribute to the work by the UN Open-ended Working Group and Group of Governmental Experts, and by regional organizations, and would aim to demonstrate strong examples of adherence to these norms. As participants in the Cyber Norm Initiative we commit to: 1. Encourage better and increased voluntary exchange of information, among ourselves and with others, on the steps taken by our respective states to understand and effectively implement the voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behavior in cyberspace and the recommendations contained in the abovementioned reports 2. Share the best practices and lessons learned that will be identified as a result of this process with a wide range of states and other stakeholders; 3. Engage with other states to include them in our peer-learning, cooperative, transparency and confidence-building efforts; 4. Cooperate to help build our partners' capability to implement the above-mentioned voluntary, non-binding norms and recommendations.“ Siehe: http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/foreign/190406-cyber.html
  2. [2] G7-OUTCOME DOCUMENT COMBATING THE USE OF THE INTERNET FOR TERRORIST AND VIOLENT EXTREMIST PURPOSES, Paris, 5. April 2019: „ Thus, the G7 Ministers of Interior commit to implementing the following: 1. Call on Internet companies to improve communication and transparency around their efforts to prevent and counter the use of the internet for violent extremist and terrorist purposes, both with our governments and citizens; 2. Reiterating the G7 Toronto Commitment, call on Internet companies to continue to more swiftly identify and remove all terrorist and violent extremist content within one hour of upload, as technically feasible without compromising accuracy, and to assess as a matter of priority notices from trusted flaggers and provide feedback on action taken through the development and responsible use of relevant technological means and the allocation of a dedicated workforce; 3. Request that Internet companies establish protocols in emergency situations to remove violent extremist and terrorist content, inclusive of safeguards to protect legitimate news reporting; 4. Request the Internet companies to continue to take proactive measures to protect their services against the uploading of terrorist and violent extremist content, and furthermore swiftly identify and establish procedures to ensure the removal of violent extremist and terrorist content, with the possibility to law enforcement services to get access to this content if needed, and prevent its reappearance online and dissemination across platforms, including through consistent expansion and use of the GIFCT’s shared database of hashes; 5. Encourage the major Internet companies to continue to support small platforms abilities to identify and to remove online violent extremist and terrorist content, by making technical means available and facilitating their access to the GIFCT’s shared data base of hashes, in particular through increased support to “Tech Against Terrorism” affiliated with the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate of the United Nations and non-governmental organisations; 6. Promote further Internet companies’ support of relevant stakeholders, including researchers and academics in G7 countries, to better understand how to prevent and counter the use of the Internet for violent extremist and terrorist purposes, in particular through sharing of data, in accordance with the applicable data protection laws and regulations; 7. Encourage Internet companies to have appropriate safeguards in place to prevent the erroneous removal of online content, taking into account the fundamental importance of the freedom of expression and access to information in an open and democratic society; 8. reiterate the G7 Toronto commitment to encourage Internet companies to include in their Terms of Service information on the consequences, under the applicable national law, of sharing violent extremist and terrorist content and clearly outline the process of reporting such content to all users; 9. Build digital and media resilience through education, training initiatives, which empower people to think critically and identify misleading information, including through collaboration with civil society organisations; 10. Furthermore some G7 countries may choose to adopt national or regional legislation to impose the removal of online violent extremist and terrorist content to Internet companies within the hour following a removal order and endeavour to appoint a legal representative in each of the States they are based in, as well as a 24/7 operational contact point; 11. Urge Internet companies to continue to create tools to address algorithmic confinement regarding violent extremist and terrorist content, notably by promoting positive alternative and counter-narratives developed by relevant stakeholders, including civil society; 12. Encourage Internet companies to establish lawful access solutions for their products and services, including data that is encrypted, for law enforcement and competent authorities to access digital evidence, including when it is removed or hosted on IT servers located abroad or encrypted, without imposing any particular technology and while ensuring that assistance requested from internet companies is underpinned by the rule of law and due process protection. Some G7 countries highlight the importance of not prohibiting, limiting or weakening encryption; 13. Continue to jointly explore with Internet companies the means to allow access of law enforcement services to removed terrorist content in order to ensure consistent and systematic exploitation of such content to identify, locate and pursue perpetrators portrayed in terrorist materials, as well as to facilitate forensic data analysis, in a manner that complies with applicable law; 14. Consider taking the necessary measures to ensure that Internet companies address production orders sent by law enforcement and competent authorities, when it is appropriate; Some G7 countries may choose to establish legal frameworks at national, regional, and international scale 15. Explore opportunities for enhanced legal cooperation to address the evolution of cloud storage, through consideration of a Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime; 16. Implement the aforementioned commitments in full compliance with human rights obligations, including those relating to freedom of expression, privacy and due process. Siehe: http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/justice/index.html
  3. [3] G7-OUTCOME DOCUMENT COMBATING THE USE OF THE INTERNET FOR TERRORIST AND VIOLENT EXTREMIST PURPOSES, Paris, 5. April 2019: In addition, in some cases, investigation and prosecution services still encounter challenges in accessing the digital evidence needed for counter-terrorism investigations. Indeed, search warrants for digital evidence are often not able to be executed because of the difficulties for law enforcement services to get lawful access to data, in particular to encrypted electronic communications., Faster access to this digital evidence, pursuant to lawful authority and with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, is important for investigation and prosecution services to fulfil their mandates and to ensure the effectiveness of investigations. A key consideration is to ensure that law applies online. Proposals in this area must nevertheless enable society to continue to access and maintain confidence in the many benefits of encryption.“ Siehe: http://www.g7.utoronto.ca/justice/index.html