Following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Paris Peace Forum this week, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the United States would join the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, which the White House describes as “a voluntary commitment to work with the international community to advance cybersecurity and preserve the open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet.”
Launched in 2018, the Paris Call lays out a set of nine principles for nations to pursue to support an “open, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful cyberspace, which has become an integral component of life in all its social, economic, cultural and political aspects,” as its website suggests. The Trump administration had previously declined to join the Call.
The news that the U.S. would join the call follows an October commitment by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to create a new bureau of cyberspace and digital policy.
Following the U.S. commitment, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also announced that the European Union (EU) is joining the Call alongside its member states, noting in a speech that “cybersecurity has a direct impact on the lives of all Europeans.” President von der Leyen said the EU Trade and Technology Council is working with representatives of the United States to “define shared principles for trustworthy AI,” and that she had discussed this issue with President Biden. “We all know that while authoritarian regimes are exploring the potential of AI to monitor dissent, Europe and the United States are joining forces to put AI at the service of people,” she said.
We need to reclaim the internet as a force for good.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) November 11, 2021
At the @ParisPeaceForum I’m glad to announce that the EU is joining the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace.
Dear @VP Harris, I’m happy to see that the US is on board too. pic.twitter.com/475Wh4ngbt
Some industry voices hailed the news that the U.S. would sign on to the Call.
“Pleased to see the US join the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace,” tweeted Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Global Affairs at Google. “Safeguarding access to information through a safe, secure, reliable Internet is a global and multilateral responsibility.” The company marked the occasion with a blog post welcoming cooperation between the US and EU on cybersecurity.
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. He is an associate research scientist and adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Opinions expressed here are his own.