Q3/2019 - ‚Five Eyes‘ Security Alliance

Meeting of Security Ministers, London, 29 July 2019

The group of Security Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States known as “Five Eyes” discussed the topic of cyber security at its annual meeting on 29 July 2019 in London. One item on the agenda was the role of social networks and combating child pornography. Alongside the Ministerial Meeting, an industry roundtable was held, which was attended also by Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Last year, the US-companies had still declined an invitation to the meeting. The items under discussion included the expansion of the competences of intelligence services for combating security risks in cyberspace [1]. Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance that evolved from a secret World War Two alliance of the five English-speaking countries to coordinate espionage and counterespionage and has persisted until today. One of the tasks of Five Eyes is the management of the satellite-based surveillance system[2].

Joint Statement, Washington, 23 September 2019

The governments of the Five Eyes also were the initiators of the “Joint Statement on Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace” that was adopted in New York on 24 September 2019“[3]. The Joint Statement is based, among other things, on the G7 cyber norm initiative (Dinard Declaration on the Cyber Norm Initiative/CNI) of April 2019. It reaffirms the commitment to a cyberspace based on the rule of law and supports the implementation of the norms and confidence-building measures agreed by the UNGGEs in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

  • The statement advocates maintaining and shaping cyberspace "free, open and secure" for future generations. The new UN negotiations started in September 2019 within the framework of the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) and the Group of Governmental Experts (UNGGE) are good opportunities to further develop the global cyber security architecture, says the statement. In addition to confidence-building measures, capacity building activities are also important to improve the governments’ capabilities to take action against disruptive, destructive and destabilising cyber attacks. However, measures to stabilise cyberspace must not be taken at the expense of human rights. These apply offline as well as online.
  • A close cooperation of the signing governments is announced to hold states accountable that do not abide by the agreed rules. The statement requests that “there must be consequences for bad behavior in cyberspace”.
  • The Joint Statement was signed by 26 states. Next to the Five Eyes and G7 member states these are: Columbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Rumania, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.
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Five Eyes Security AllianceQ3/2019
  1. [1] Siehe: Mark Hosenball, Britain hosts 'Five Eyes' security alliance ministers for cyber talks, Reuters, London, 29. Juli 2019, in: www.reuters.com/article/us-security-fiveeyes/britain-hosts-five-eyes-security-alliance-ministers-for-cyber-talks-idUSKCN1UO1DG
  2. [2] Five Eyes, siehe: Wikipedia, in: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes
  3. [3] Joint Statement on Advancing Responsible State Behavior in Cyberspace, New York, 23. September 2019: „Information technology is transforming modern life, driving innovation and productivity, facilitating the sharing of ideas, of cultures, and promoting free expression. Its benefits have brought the global community closer together than ever before in history. Even as we recognize the myriad benefits that cyberspace has brought to our citizens and strive to ensure that humanity can continue to reap its benefits, a challenge to this vision has emerged. State and non-state actors are using cyberspace increasingly as a platform for irresponsible behavior from which to target critical infrastructure and our citizens, undermine democracies and international institutions and organizations, and undercut fair competition in our global economy by stealing ideas when they cannot create them. Over the past decade, the international community has made clear that the international rules-based order should guide state behavior in cyberspace. UN member states have increasingly coalesced around an evolving framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace (framework), which supports the international rules-based order, affirms the applicability of international law to state-on-state behavior, adherence to voluntary norms of responsible state behavior in peacetime, and the development and implementation of practical confidence building measures to help reduce the risk of conflict stemming from cyber incidents. All members of the United Nations General Assembly have repeatedly affirmed this framework, articulated in three successive UN Groups of Governmental Experts reports in 2010, 2013, and 2015. We underscore our commitment to uphold the international rules-based order and encourage its adherence, implementation, and further development, including at the ongoing UN negotiations of the Open Ended Working Group and Group of Governmental Experts. We support targeted cybersecurity capacity building to ensure that all responsible states can implement this framework and better protect their networks from significant disruptive, destructive, or otherwise destabilizing cyber activity. We reiterate that human rights apply and must be respected and protected by states online, as well as offline, including when addressing cybersecurity. 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. 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. We call on all states to support the evolving framework and to join with us to ensure greater accountability and stability in cyberspace. Siehe: www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-advancing-responsible-state-behavior-in-cyberspace/