Microsoft’s Tech Accord – what it tells us about the cyber state of play

From: Open Democracy

In the current climate, the impact of the Cybersecurity Tech Accord which, without explicitly saying it, gestures towards a form of self-regulation for the tech industry – needs close monitoring.

Lea Kaspar

Last week, Microsoft and 33 other leading tech companies unveiled their Cybersecurity Tech Accord – an agreement on a broad set of principles committing the signatories to “protecting users and customers everywhere”.

The introduction to the Accord makes its intention clear: it is a corrective to a troubled cyberspace, characterised by a growing proliferation of malicious actors “from criminal to geopolitical” and the deterioration in trust, stability and security that this has brought about. While human rights are not explicitly mentioned, this broad diagnosis of the challenge is one that many human rights defenders will probably share. Exercising privacy and free expression online, after all, depends on a free, open and secure cyberspace. “Protecting our online environment”, as the Accord correctly notes, “is in everyone’s interest”.

Much to welcome

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