Trust and Security digest (April 2021)

6 May 2021

This extract is taken from the April 2021 issue of The digest, GPD’s newsletter. Sign up here.


Cyber at the UN: an update

Compared to March—which saw the Open ended Working Group on ICTs (OEWG) adopt its final report, and the penultimate meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts—April was relatively quiet for UN discussions on cyber.

May and June are, however, expected to be significantly busier, with several important meetings scheduled:

  • The inaugural meeting of the new Third Committee group set up to negotiate a cybercrime treaty (10-12 May). You can watch a livestream of the meeting here.

  • The final informal consultations of the GGE for non-member states (20-21 May): and the GGE’s final, closed meeting (24-29 May)—hopefully ending with a consensus report that complements the OEWG’s outcome report;

  • The first organisational meeting of the new OEWG (1-2 June). This is particularly significant, as it will decide the modalities for the OEWG, including NGO participation. Alongside other groups, we’ll be engaging closely to try and shape those modalities—stay posted.

Other news:

  • Our Senior Programme Lead Sheetal Kumar has published an article in the Journal of Cyber Policy, looking at the role of civil society in implementing cyber norms.

Listening post

Your monthly global update, tracking relevant laws and policies relating to the digital environment.

On the trust and security side, cybersecurity and cybercrime legislation progressed in several countries:

  • Liberia confirmed that the Draft Cyber Security Act of 2021 is due to be presented to the Executive Mansion, after which it will be passed on to legislators for enactment.

  • In Germany, the Bundestag approved the IT Security Law 2.0.

  • Civil society organisations have raised concerns about Zambia’s newly passed Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Act 2021, citing its potential to suppress freedom of expression and the right to privacy.

Elsewhere, Vanuatu approved its National Cybersecurity Strategy (NCSS); and the UK has confirmed plans to publish its new NCSS later this year. Australia also launched its International Cyber and Critical Tech Engagement Strategy, which features strong commitments to human rights.