Australia and US to hold annual cyber security dialogue

ASPI and US CSIS to hold dialogue bringing together representatives from the private sector, academia and governments

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed that the US and Australia will conduct an annual ‘Cyber Security Dialogue’, held under the auspices of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and the US Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

The dialogue was announced during a visit by Turnbull to Washington DC.

It will encompass the private sector, academia and government.

One aim is to understand how the US and Australia would respond in the event of a cyber attack that affected the two nations, a statement issued by Turnbull’s office said.

“To achieve this, we agreed to improve our response efforts beginning with mapping our cyber incident response structures and mechanisms with the aim in the future to exercising our incident response measures,” the statement said.

“To meet the growing threat of cybercrime, we will also enhance cybercrime cooperation between our nations, including through increased exchanges between respective law enforcement and cybercrime experts and more collaboration on cybercrime investigations.”

The two nations will also aid allies in the Indo-Pacific to boost their cyber defences, the statement said.

"Freedom of the Internet is vital for democracy, human dignity and economic progress," Turnbull said in an address this week to the US Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"But [the] cybersphere cannot be a lawless domain."

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“Australia, the United States and others will work together internationally to promote norms of behaviour that are consistent with a free, open and secure internet,” the PM said.

“They include that states should not knowingly conduct or support cyber-enabled intellectual property theft for commercial advantage.

“This approach can provide a basis for putting pressure on adversaries and openly imposing costs on malicious actors.

“And we need to do all this while redoubling our work to counter the spread of propaganda which incites extremist violence.”

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The Australian government is yet to release its long-awaited Cyber Security Review, which was originally expected in in mid-2015.

The review will be used to inform a Cyber Security Strategy.

The government’s $1.1 billion ‘National Innovation and Science Agenda’ included $30 million for establishing an industry-led ‘Cyber Security Growth Centre’.

The centre is due to be operational by mid-2016 and is intended to bring together industry, researchers and governments.

Read more: The new Enigma

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