Ms Weaver stated that the purpose of the forum was really making sure that when we’re looking at how internet is being used, how we’re engaging in the internet that we are having those conversations with all of our international partners because internet is global and there is need to make sure that our responses to opportunities and challenges that we talking with our international partners to raise and meet those challenges. 

“Last year, the Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an international engagement strategy and that is looking at how do we address the full spectrum of issues- from looking cyber security online, digital trade- ‘how do we promote the digital economy?’ ‘how do we work to make sure countries are preserving human rights online?’,”she said.

“’How do we use technologies in new and innovative ways so that we can solve development challenges that have not yet been able solved?’ and supporting and underpinning all of that is a cyber cooperation program that is a $30 million program, in which we’re looking to work with countries predominantly in the Indo-Pacific to identify areas where we can assist in working together to either meet the challenges, for example working with Vanuatu looking at cybercrime legislation or how we can use technology to respond to challenges-looking at how we can use technologies to promote health services.”

Weaver said it is important in making sure that when embracing those technologies, it should be done in a way that respects people’s privacy that has cyber security build in so that people can be embracing those opportunities safely.

“Prime Minister Charlot Salwai visited Australia as government guest recently and it was a successful visit and the conversation between the two PMs included two things and one thing discussed was how we can cooperate together in this cyber domain, and they agree that we needed to increase this cooperation,” she said.

“When we talk about fighting cyber crime we look at it across the full spectrum, so we start at saying do we actually have the proper legislation, are the things that we find to be terrible things that are happening online, are they actually illegal in your country? we make sure that they are illegal and then we make sure that we have police that are trained to be able to identify that activity, make sure we work with prosecutors so that they are able to prosecute those crimes and make sure judges are also trained to identify these activities with the end goal of preventing these activities from continuing.” 

Weaver reiterated that the funding by the Australian government and the cyber cooperation program is looking at full spectrum of activities, and it looks at how both countries can work to fund cyber crime activities to increase Vanuatu’s capacity to fight cyber crime.

“But we’re also funding and supporting the Computer Emergency Response Team that was launched recently to address cyber challenges and mitigating these risks that people of Vanuatu are able to connect safely to internet, engage in the digital economy, open up new markets and new opportunities for ni-Vans to go out and experience this global internet which brings so much opportunities,” she said.

“Cyber cooperation takes importance to funding such conversation such as the APrIGF and it was important that the right people attended the forum to analyze what is the needs of the Pacific island states to improve and mitigate risks of each countries.”

Weaver concluded that Australia is committed to working with Vanuatu and increasing its ability to respond to significant cyber incidents through CERT or to respond to cybercrimes that actually have flow on benefits for all PI’s and Australia, also because internet is a network it will have a direct impact globally throughout the world.

Source: Daily Post