Countries in the Asia-Pacific region must strengthen cooperation on cyber security not only to protect themselves but also their citizens, Malacañang said on Sunday.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. made the statement as Malacañang welcomed the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ adoption of the Philippine proposal to create a cyber security group amid the increasingly technology independent world.
“We welcome the expression of support from the neighboring countries of the Philippines. It is important for countries to deepen cooperation in strengthening cyber security due to the rising violations and abuse by lawless elements of digital technology,” Coloma said on state-run radio station dzRB.
“ These bad elements exploit, through digital technology, the situation and violate various laws of different countries. The cyber security law will give protection to the victims who would violate the laws because these violations would affect many areas, not only in national defense, but also in economy, and the privacy of individuals, as well,” said Coloma.
Defense ministers of the Asean adopted recently the proposal made by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on the creation of the cyber security working group during a meeting in Laos.
The cyber security group, to be created within the framework of the Asean Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus), will promote practical cooperation in addressing cyber security challenges.
Asean dialogue partners include Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
The Department of National Defense over the weekend said the proposal of Gazmin to establish a cyber security group was approved by a panel of defense ministers of the Asean.
Gazmin’s concept paper that proposed the establishment of the cyber security group was adopted during the Asean Defense Ministers Meeting held on May 25 at Vientiane, Laos.
By leveraging individual Asean-Plus capabilities, the working group will promote practical cooperation in addressing cyber security challenges, the DND said in a statement.
The proposal, introduced by Gazmin during an ADMM Retreat in Malaysia, underwent deliberations and eventually culminated in the adoption of the concept paper.
The Philippines and New Zealand will co-chair the cyber security working group from 2017 to 2020.
Meanwhile, the Philippines has forwarded another proposal which hopefully would also be considered by the ADMM.
The proposal involves the inclusion of coastguards and other maritime forces in the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea which currently covers only naval forces.