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Security 12 November 2018

Internet Society Media Statement on Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace Declaration

The Internet Society is one of the signatories of the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. The declaration is an important step in the right direction, but it’s only the start. Cybersecurity doesn’t come from a single technical fix or upgrade, nor will it come from a treaty or declaration.

Security concerns are real and justified, but it’s critical that signatories do not try to address them alone. The Internet depends, technically, on co-operative voluntary action, so unilateral action puts the Internet at risk. Countries, organizations and individuals have a choice to make – to continue pursuing national or personal interests, or to set aside those interests to take actions that improve the security of the Internet.

It’s time we take steps to remove the barriers to more timely and effective global cooperation among all relevant actors as needed: technical, operational, government, business, research and education, and civil society. We need to collaborate on security that benefits us all. The only way to address evolving challenges around cybersecurity is by using the collaborative and distributed approach to decision-making that has allowed the Internet to thrive.

The Internet Society is ready to guide, inform and advise stakeholders on how to address challenges while protecting the core principles and infrastructure of the Internet. By taking a collaborative approach to security, we can address problems at the source and make sure solutions do not have negative impacts on the architecture of the Internet.  We must not save the Internet by breaking it, thereby denying humanity this tool that can benefit us all.

Internet security is a route, not a destination. We will never achieve absolute Internet security, no matter what we try. Instead, we should focus on managing Internet security risk. In the face of risk and uncertainty, the inclination is to exert control, but control does not work well in an environment that is by nature both decentralized and constantly changing. Cyber threats continuously evolve to work around obstacles and Internet security needs to do the same.

Consensus and adaptability are key. We encourage signatories to collaborate with Internet stakeholders and experts to develop solutions that maintain an Internet that is open and accessible to all. We believe one of the ways to tackle these issues is a new approach to the Internet Governance Forum that empowers people to create informed and tangible solutions that benefit everyone.

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