After several months of patient work, ITI saw important results in the forward-leaning cybersecurity principles document issued at the G7 Leaders Summit held in Japan last week. The principles document closely follows a more comprehensive statement developed at the G7 ICT ministerial April 29-30 in Takamatsu, which ITI supported through various discussions, events, and written statements, including Recommended Outcomes jointly developed with the Japanese Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) and DIGITALEUROPE earlier this year. These new G7 principles show that Leaders of some of the world’s most developed economies actively support policies that enable a global, free, and open internet based on transparent policy practices.
ITI is pleased that the principles and actions document released at the Summit reflect both ITI’s recommendations and the outcomes of the ICT Ministerial, including:
- An affirmation of the value of an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet, along with a multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance;
- An affirmation of the importance of respecting and promoting privacy, data protection, and cybersecurity, while recognizing that the free flow of information is fundamental to global economic development;
- A commitment to fostering transparent policy and legal frameworks;
- Opposition to requirements for the localization of data or computing facilities, consistent with governments’ ability to pursue legitimate public policy objectives; and
- An affirmation of the importance of protecting trade secrets, and a general opposition to policies requiring access or transfer of source code of software as a condition of market access.
Following these strong outcomes, governments and industry now shift their focus to the G20 Summit in September in Hangzhou, China, in order to build broader support for policies that will benefit global economic growth, development, and security.
The commitments of leading industrialized economies are important, but the benefits of ICT products and services are equally—if not more—important for developing economy members of the broader G20. Indeed, developing economies often benefit more from the gains in productivity and efficiency associated with the adoption of information and communications technology (ICT) products and services than developed countries. ICT discussions have traditionally not fallen under the umbrella of the G20 discussions, though the Chinese government has shown leadership in forging tracks dedicated to the digital economy this year.
ITI looks forward to continuing engagement with participating governments to support strong outcomes on these key issues in Hangzhou this fall or during Germany’s hosting of the G20 in 2017.