Statement on the UK-Australia Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership

  • Media release

Australia has today agreed a Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership with the United Kingdom that will help shape a positive technology environment and maintain an internet that is open, free, peaceful and secure.

I signed the Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership with my counterpart, UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and Minister for Women and Equalities, the Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP in Sydney today.

Given the significant impact that new technologies have on our societies, cooperation on cyber security and critical technologies is an essential part of the modern UK-Australia relationship.

This partnership brings together two long-standing friends and allies who will work together to ensure that we shape a positive technology landscape for all. An open, safe and secure cyberspace and technologies that work for people, not against them, is key to our combined future.

Australia is committed to working with partners such as the UK to challenge malign actors who use technology to undermine freedom and democracy. We will work with allies to maintain an internet environment that is open, free, peaceful and secure, consistent with international law, and which maximises opportunities for economic growth.

Australia and the UK share the goal that technology is used to uphold and protect liberal democratic values, and to benefit our societies, economies and national security.

We will intensify co-operation and delivery around shared opportunities and challenges regarding cyber and critical technology policy through deepened co-operation around four pillars:

  • tackling malign actors;
  • promoting our values and positive vision for technology;
  • strengthening global technology supply chains; and
  • harnessing technology to solve global challenges.

As first initiatives under the Partnership, the UK and Australia will:

  • Increase deterrence by raising the costs for hostile state activity in cyberspace – including through strategic co-ordination of our cyber sanctions regimes;
  • Strengthen the resilience and response capabilities of countries in the Indo-Pacific region to malicious cyber activity via joint capacity building activity. This will include tackling the increasing threat from ransomware through a joint initiative delivered in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime – a valuable step in helping the region to bring an end to criminal activity in cyberspace;
  • Develop an action plan on global standard-setting to ensure global standards deliver on our security priorities, economic interests and reflect our values;
  • Advance the Women in Cyber agenda, including through our Women and International Security in Cyber Fellowship.

This partnership brings a practical, values-driven approach to making the most of opportunities in cyberspace and critical tech while imposing greater costs on malign actors who would undermine the region's prosperity and security for their own ends.

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