On 23 December 2020, Foreign Minister Payne announced the establishment of the Quad Tech Network (QTN). The QTN is a Track 2 network of academic and research institutions from Quad countries.
Managed by the Australian National University’s National Security College, with the support of DFAT, the QTN provides timely research and recommendations by quad partners on the shared challenges facing Australia and Indo-Pacific partners in the cyber and technology environment.
Partners involved in the Network
- Australian National University’s National Security College (Australia)
- Center for a New American Security (US)
- Observer Research Foundation (India)
- National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (Japan)
Complementing the International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy
The QTN complements the International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy through policy-relevant research and recommendations that reflect the interests of Quad partner countries as liberal democracies committed to the international rules-based order. The QTN’s work seeks to deepen and strengthen public understanding of cyber and critical technology issues and promote informed public dialogue.
On 9 February 2021, the QTN released its first series of public papers.
The Quad Tech Network Series
Networked: Techno-Democratic Statecraft for Australia and the Quad
Center for a New American Security
Author: Martijn Rasser
World leaders recognise that a strategic competition is underway, and that technology is at the core of this competition. This report lays out a blueprint for Quad technology policy. After setting the scene of the current technological and geopolitical landscape and the context in which the group would operate, the report presents a policymaking framework called techno-democratic statecraft. Read more about opportunities for Australian leadership in the Quad network and to build Australia’s tech capacity below.
Networked: Techno-Democratic Statecraft for Australia and the Quad | National Security College (anu.edu.au)
Embracing Difference: Governance of Critical Technologies in the Indo-Pacific
Australian National University
Authors: Jolyon Ford and Damian Clifford
The Quad grouping aims to promote security and economic cooperation between the Indo-Pacific’s four leading democracies. In this, the grouping is at once a mechanism to cooperate in relation to material interests, and a commitment to fundamental democratic values. Particularly during 2020, the Quad grouping signalled an intention to increase engagement and agenda-shaping in relation to critical technologies. This is a complex undertaking: development, use and regulation of critical technologies cuts across multiple policy areas, including those outside (or at least adjacent to) the Quad’s traditional focus on security and economics. Critical technologies are also inherently social artefacts – they are shaped by, and shape, civil society and private-sector actors. This makes a purely state-led approach to their governance difficult, and arguably inappropriate. This paper considers what an approach to human rights and ethical governance of critical technologies could entail for Quad members.
Embracing Difference: Governance of Critical Technologies in the Indo-Pacific | National Security College (anu.edu.au)
The Digital Indo-Pacific: Regional Connectivity and Resilience
Observer Research Foundation
Authors: Trisha Ray, Arjun Jayakumar, Sangeet Jain, and Anurag Reddy
At its heart, the Indo-Pacific is a term with its roots in the maritime realm, a confluence of security, economic and geopolitical interests linked to free and open movement between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The emergent Digital Indo-Pacific concept is linked to four factors;
- the region is home to the world’s largest, most rapidly growing internet user bases,
- there is a search for regional and domestic alternatives as the US-China trade war escalates,
- the essentiality and fragility of global technology flows, as highlighted by the global pandemic, and
- greater scrutiny of bottlenecks created by “efficient” global supply and value chains.
The aim of this paper is to lay a foundation for inclusive collaboration toward a Digital Indo-Pacific, which accounts for the differing but complementary strengths present in the region. Read more about pathways for collaboration in the Indo-Pacific.
The Digital Indo-Pacific: Regional Connectivity and Resilience | National Security College (anu.edu.au)
Cyber Security, Critical Technology, and National Security
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
Editors and Authors: Narushige Michishita, Kohei Takahashi, Tatsuo Ide, Ikuo Takahashi, Kazuo Tokito, and Takahiro Sasaki
Like-minded states such as Australia, India, the United States, and Japan should cooperate and coordinate multilateral responses against grey-zone tactics, including cyberattacks. This paper argues that the protection of critical technology, intellectual property, and data from theft or acquisition by a rival state is imperative. It offers perspectives on Japan’s approach to cyber security and critical technologies, including challenges to cooperating with allied democratic states, China’s cyber warfare and Japan’s response to it, and suggests recommendations for the QTN in attenuating cyber warfare and securing global cyber space.
Building Cooperation: Cyber, Critical Technology and National Security | National Security College (anu.edu.au)
Australia strengthens global discussion on cyber and critical technology | Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women (foreignminister.gov.au)