Frequently asked questions - Paris Call: Trust and security in cyberspace

Backgrounder

What is the Paris Call, and who participates in the initiative? 

The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace is a nonbinding declaration that calls for states, the private sector, and civil society organizations to work together to promote security in cyberspace, counter disinformation, and address new threats endangering citizens and infrastructure.

French President Emmanuel Macron launched the Paris Call in 2018 during the Internet Governance Forum held at UNESCO and the Paris Peace Forum.

Today, over 95 governments, nearly 350 international, civil society and public sector organizations, as well as more than 600 private sector entities have endorsed the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly pledged Canada’s support for the Paris Call in November 2018.

The Paris Call relies on a set of nine common principles to secure cyberspace, and provide guidance on discussion and action related to cyber threats and disinformation online.

What are the nine principles to secure cyberspace?

1. Protect Individuals and Infrastructure

Prevent and recover from malicious cyber and digital activities that threaten or cause significant, indiscriminate or systemic harm to individuals and critical infrastructure.

2. Protect the Internet

Prevent activity that intentionally and substantially damages the general availability or integrity of the public core of the Internet.

3. Defend Electoral Processes

Strengthen capacity to prevent malign interference by foreign actors aimed at undermining electoral processes through malicious cyber activities and disinformation.

**Canada co-leads, alongside Microsoft and the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), on this principle.

4. Defend Intellectual Property

Prevent information and communications technology-enabled theft of intellectual property with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or the commercial sector.

5. Non-Proliferation

Develop ways to prevent the proliferation of malicious software and practices intended to cause harm.

6. Lifecycle Security

Strengthen the security of digital processes, products and services, throughout the lifecycle and supply chain.

7. Cyber Hygiene

Support efforts to strengthen an advanced cyber hygiene for all actors.

8. No Private Hack Back

Take steps to prevent non-State actors, including the private sector, from hacking-back, for their own purposes or those of other non-State actors.

** Hacking back: giving corporations and other hack victims permission to counter-attack cyber-threats, and be more aggressive against perpetrators.

9. International Norms

Promote the widespread acceptance and implementation of international norms of responsible behaviour, as well as confidence-building measures in cyber-space.

What work is the Government of Canada doing in support of countering election interference under Principle 3?

Principle 3 focuses on strengthening “our capacity to prevent malign interference by foreign actors aimed at undermining electoral processes through malicious cyber activities”. 

Canada co-leads on this principle alongside Microsoft and the Alliance for Securing Democracy. Building on the various existing initiatives, the government will support the creation and the improvement of standards, norms and policies on election interference, and use its experience to assist with building international capacity in this area through training, tabletop exercises and developing a best practices guide over the coming months.

Canada’s leadership in the Paris Call builds on our G7 Charlevoix commitment, to collaborate, identify and respond to malign interference by foreign actors aimed at undermining democratic processes and national interests, and on our leadership of the G7 Rapid Response Mechanism.

Who represents Canada on Principle 3 of the Paris Call?

Canada is represented on this principle by the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc.

What are considered the digital and cyberspace?

Cyberspace is the digital space made up of:

  • network infrastructures (like servers and cables),
  • devices (like computers and smartphones),
  • digital information ecosystems (including, but not limited to, social media, forums, digital media, and other sources of digital information and engagement),
  • software, and,
  • data carried over networks.
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