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John Kerry Calls For The Internet To Be Placed Under The Authority Of The United Nations

In a speech today in South Korea, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Internet “needs rules to be able to flourish and work properly.” This, according to Kerry, is necessary even for “a technology founded on freedom.”

Kerry made his remarks in the context of talking about how international law is applicable to the Internet. “As I’ve mentioned, the basic rules of international law apply in cyberspace. Acts of aggression are not permissible. And countries that are hurt by an attack have a right to respond in ways that are appropriate, proportional, and that minimize harm to innocent parties. We also support a set of additional principles that, if observed, can contribute substantially to conflict prevention and stability in time of peace. We view these as universal concepts that should be appealing to all responsible states, and they are already gaining traction,” said Kerry.
john-kerry-calls-for-united-nations-regulation-to-control-internetSpeaking on behalf of the Obama administration, Kerry said that Internet policy is “a key component of our foreign policy.”

“First, no country should conduct or knowingly support online activity that intentionally damages or impedes the use of another country’s critical infrastructure. Second, no country should seek either to prevent emergency teams from responding to a cybersecurity incident, or allow its own teams to cause harm. Third, no country should conduct or support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, or other confidential business information for commercial gain. Fourth, every country should mitigate malicious cyber activity emanating from its soil, and they should do so in a transparent, accountable and cooperative way. And fifth, every country should do what it can to help states that are victimized by a cyberattack.

“I guarantee you if those five principles were genuinely and fully adopted and implemented by countries, we would be living in a far safer and far more confident cyberworld.

“But even with these principles, ensuring international cyber stability will remain a work in progress. We still have a lot of work to do to develop a truly reliable framework – based on international law – that will effectively deter violations and minimize the danger of conflict.


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