Minister launches new cyber security program at ANU

7 March 2014

Communications Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP has launched a new ANU-based program on cyberspace and cybersecurity as the world deals with new challenges posed by the Internet and technology.

The ANU National Security College has brought together a multidisciplinary team of experts from Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom to explore the challenges of cyberspace as a new domain, like the domains of land, sea, air and space.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO, welcomed Mr Turnbull to ANU and told an audience of senior public servants, academics and corporate leaders that cyberspace poses new security challenges.

"Cyber security is a classic example of a modern national security problem," Professor Young said.

"It transcends borders, it is of fundamental economic importance, it is much about citizens as states, and its challenges are intertwined with the increasing importance of Asia and the Indo-Pacific region."

Mr Turnbull said the Internet was the most powerful driver of innovation and commerce in human history, but he cautioned governments against trying to set new rules to restrain its reach and impact.

"The Internet has grown without government direction, it has grown across borders and defied, constrained and on occasions toppled tyrants. Its benefits are incalculable," he said in his speech.

"But there are risks and there are threats.

"But above all we must never forget that the Internet is the most powerful single driver of innovation and commerce in human history and it will not just transform industries and governments, it will change humanity itself."

Mr Turnbull said governments should be wary about trying set rules to constrain the Internet.

"This is dangerous ground. Once states start competing for a greater voice, greater control, we are absolutely kidding ourselves if we imagine only those with benign objectives will eventually get it," he said.

"Maintaining an open, global cyberspace system not dominated by governments is one of the key strategic issues of our time and it is a goal the Australian Government is committed to pursuing."

The new Strategy & Statecraft in Cyberspace program involves ANU, the Centre for Research in Complex Systems at Charles Sturt University, the Centre for Applied Cybersecurity Research at Indiana University in the United States, the Strategy and Security Institute at the University of Exeter in the UK, the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, and the Security Research Institute at Edith Cowan University.

For more information, contact Professor Roger Bradbury, Coordinator of National Security Research.[gallery ids="208941"]