'Paris Call': 51 states vow support for global rules on cyberweapons
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Fifty-one states, including all EU members, have pledged their support for a new international agreement to set standards on cyberweapons and the use of the internet, the French government said Monday.
The states have signed up to a so-called "Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace", an attempt to kickstart stalled global negotiations.
Campaigners have called for a "Digital Geneva Convention", a reference to the Geneva conventions that set standards for the conduct of wars.
They want states to commit to not attacking infrastructure which is depended upon by civilians during wartime, for example.
A new international norm would also help define a state-backed cyberattack and when a state could be justified in retaliating.
Dozens of countries are thought to have developed offensive cyberweapons.
In a presentation at the forum, Smith portrayed cyberweapons as having the potential to spark another mass conflict.
Global 'wake-up call'
He said 2017 was a "wake-up call for the world" because of the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks.
WannaCry crippled many hospitals in Britain and affected 150 countries in 24 hours. It is thought to have been deployed from North Korea.
There is no group that has a greater responsibility when it comes to #cybersecurity than the tech sector.Microsoft EU Policy (@MicrosoftEU) November 12, 2018
A multistakeholder approach looking at trust and security together is essential says @BradSmi #ParisCall #ParisPeaceForum pic.twitter.com/Zpjtmt7c9Q
Many experts attribute NotPetya, which hit banking, power and business computing systems across Ukraine, to Russia.
But security officials note that those two attacks appear to be based on code stolen from the US National Security Agency, which leads the country's cyber-defences.
"In a world where everything is being connected, anything can be affected, which is why we need to come together," Smith added.
The text of the Paris call will be presented by French President Emmanuel Macron as he opens UNESCO's Internet Governance Forum in Paris on Monday.
It has also been signed by 93 civil society groups and 218 companies, Le Drian said.
"To respect people's rights and protect them online as they do in the physical world, states must work together, but also collaborate with private-sector partners, the world of research and civil society," according to the text.
Russia has been accused by Western countries of cyber-meddling over the last few years, while huge data breaches online have fuelled calls for new rules governing online behaviour.