A number of international cyber announcements in September show cyber security and critical infrastructure issues are a top foreign policy priority for Australia.
It was a busy month for cyber diplomacy as Australia signed two new memorandums of understanding (MoU) on cyber issues with Indo-Pacific partners while also launching round two of the Australia-India Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership grants program.
Expanded Cyber MoU with Indonesia
On Wednesday, 8 September 2021, Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, Dr Tobias Feakin, joined Indonesia’s Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hinsa Siburian, Head of the National Cyber and Crypto Agency(BSSN), in signing an expanded MoU to include emerging cyber technology and increase cooperation between the two countries on cyber issues.
The MoU was further endorsed by Foreign Minister Marise Payne on a visit to Indonesia on the first leg of her trip through the Indo-Pacific on her way to attend the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Call for Aus/India funded grant proposals
By Saturday, 11 September, Minister Payne was in India for the joint launch of round two of the successful Australia-India Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership (AICCTP) grants program.
The joint initiative backs ideas harnessing cyber and critical technology to support a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.
The program is seeking funding for proposals focused on strengthening understanding of ethical frameworks, developing best practice and encouraging the development of technical standards on critical technologies, including quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
First ROK cyber MoU as Australia celebrates 60 years of relations
This year we celebrated the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Australia and the Republic of Korea (ROK). Six decades of cooperation was marked with a brand new MoU on cyber issues providing a strong foundation for collaboration on current and future cyber matters.
ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chung Eui-yong, and Minister Payne signed the new MoU during her visit on Monday, 13 September, elevating existing cooperation and formalizing regular bilateral Cyber and Critical Technology Policy Dialogues.
Ministers also agreed to hold the inaugural Cyber and Critical Technology Policy Dialogue between senior officials in the near future.
Cyber and critical tech issues were on the agenda for every stop of the Minister’s trip demonstrating how important these issues are to Australia’s foreign policy.
Expanded MoU’s with Indonesia and ROK and the renewed AICCTP grants are a fine example of digital diplomacy in action bringing us closer to achieving a safe, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific enabled by cyberspace and critical technology.