Q4/2018 - Paris Call on Trust and Security in Cyberspace

Paris, 11 November 2018

At the Paris Peace Forum held to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War,the “Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace” initiated by the French President Emmanuel Macron  was published. The document was compiled by the French government in extensive consultation with other governments and non-state experts. It includes a total of eight norms that shall govern the behaviour in cyberspace of state and non-state players. The document is based on the norms developed by the UNGGE in 2015 for the behaviour of states in cyberspace and on the Singapore Norm Package presented by the Global Commission on Stability in Cyberspace in September 2018. The “Paris Call” is not legally binding. However, by signing the document, governments and non-state players commit themselves to observing the norms set out in it.

The Paris Call was very well received by a wide variety of players. Within a few days, more than 100 governments and roughly 1,000 non-state players had signed the paper. The Federal Republic of Germany was among the first signatories. The Russian and the Chinese governments did not sign the Paris Call. The government of the USA, too, refused to sign. The US State Department explained that the USA agreed with the contents of the Paris Call because it was based on values shared by the USA, but in view of the current global controversies in cyberspace the US did not want to formally commit themselves. The large US-American Internet companies, like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft or Google, in contrast, have signed the Paris Call. Chinese Internet companies, like Huawei, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and others, have so far refrained from signing. At the 2nd Paris Peace Forum scheduled for autumn 2019 it shall be investigated how the Paris Call is implemented in practice. Additionally, the Paris Call shall be evaluated at the 14th UN Internet Governance Forum in November 2019 in Berlin.

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