In pursuit of partnership: Announcing a workshop series with civil society in 2019

This past April marked the one year anniversary of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, offering a valuable opportunity to take stock of what has been accomplished in the 12 months since technology companies from across the globe first came together in agreement to protect users worldwide. Indeed, a lot happened in the Cybersecurity Tech Accord’s first year, which focused in part on increasing our capacity to improve the security of users and customers wherever they may be. As of May, our ranks have swelled to over 100 signatory companies, representing the many different sectors of the technology industry in the largest ever private sector coalition committed to improving the security of the online world.

As we now look towards the Cybersecurity Tech Accord’s second year, we are eager to leverage the unique scale and expertise of our signatories in partnership with other stakeholders beyond private industry to expand our impact. Perhaps more than any other security domain, cybersecurity is inherently a shared responsibility, and while there are ways that industry can address these challenges independently, many more meaningful solutions require the unique and indispensable perspectives and contributions of other stakeholder groups as well. This includes deepening cooperation with governments, in particular looking at how we can increase cybersecurity awareness, as well as building new relationships with civil society organizations similarly committed to improving the security and stability of cyberspace.

It is with this commitment to partnership in mind that we are excited to announce an upcoming series of consultative workshops meant to gain insight from civil society partners over the coming months. These workshops will provide civil society groups with a detailed overview of what the Cybersecurity Tech Accord is and what it does – its ambitions and accomplishments – as well as seek input and guidance from participants to identify key challenges in international cybersecurity today and how civil society and the Cybersecurity Tech Accord might collaborate in addressing them.

We look forward to hearing from organizations working on the front lines of protecting human and civil rights around the world, and learning about how their work intersects with the four principles of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord.

  1. We will protect all our users and customers everywhere.
  2. We will oppose cyberattacks on innocent citizens and enterprises from anywhere.
  3. We will help empower users, customers and developers to strengthen cybersecurity protection.
  4. We will partner with each other and with likeminded groups to enhance cybersecurity.

It is in accordance with that fourth principle that we are undertaking this initiative to reach out and find ways to partner with civil society groups to enhance cybersecurity. As security online has become ever more intertwined with personal and physical security, we are confident that these same four principles resonate with civil society groups committed to promoting and defending the rights of people around the world. We look forward to hearing suggestions on ways to collaborate on projects aligned with any of these four principles from these partners in the months ahead.

This workshop series kicked off in June at the Rightscon conference in Tunisia, where we heard from those in attendance about the values that guide their work and their implications for cybersecurity and the technology industry. Similar workshops will then be held alongside the Paris Peace Forum and the Internet Governance Forum later this year. The collective recommendations from these consultations will be pulled together in a summary report to be published towards the end of 2019, sharing valuable insight from civil society and providing both the Cybersecurity Tech Accord and other stakeholders with ideas to implement in cooperation with civil society partners.

This is precisely the kind of cooperative dialogue and engagement that we believe can make meaningful improvements to the entire cybersecurity ecosystem, allowing us to understand a diversity of perspectives to design responses that meet the needs of vulnerable populations around the world.

If you are a civil society organization and are interested in this initiative, please reach out to with your suggestions and recommendations on the ways we could collaborate on projects aligned with our four principles.

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