The Cybersecurity Tech Accord signatories welcome the work of the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace on promoting awareness and understanding of issues related to international cybersecurity, peace and stability, and in this context the Singapore norms package. We share the Commission’s concern that an increasing number of nations see cyberspace as an unconstrained area of conflict. Indeed, in recent years, malicious actors with motives that range from criminal to geopolitical have inflicted economic harm, put human lives at risk, and undermined the trust that is essential to an open, free, and secure internet. We have seen attacks on the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of data, products, services, and networks that have demonstrated the need for constant vigilance, collective action, and a renewed commitment to cybersecurity.
Digital technology powers every aspect of business, society and our individual lives: from improving education and healthcare to advancing agriculture, from creating jobs to enhancing environmental sustainability. It keeps us informed, connected, entertained and inspired; opening the doors to an ever-bigger world of opportunity. The creation of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation (“the Panel”) earlier this year marked an important moment, as it recognized the criticality of technology to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Modern warfare has moved online and the “fifth domain” of cyberspace is today a battlefield in its own right. But in many ways that is where the similarities to other domains end, as cyberweapons and the techniques used to develop and employ them are meaningfully distinct from the conventional weapons of modern warfare. To create a cyberweapon, governments and sophisticated threat attackers exploit unintentional weaknesses or “vulnerabilities” found in mass-market hardware and software products or services and apply techniques developed to exploit those weaknesses. The damaging effects of the resulting cyberweapons – especially when mishandled – can extend far beyond an intended target, potentially impacting millions of innocent users around the world.
One of the essential functions of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN) is to oversee domain names. In line with this objective, its WHOIS protocol has been used for over two decades to record and display the contact details of domain name registrants. In addition, the registered contacts in WHOIS provide clear point of contacts for Certification Authorities (CAs) to seek authorization when issuing SSL certificates. This WHOIS data provides much needed transparency online and as such protects users, customers and the Internet ecosystem as a whole.