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G7 commits to action on ransomware, digital privacy

The G7 urges Russia to do more to hold criminal ransomware gangs operating from within its borders to account as it commits to more action on the issue

The G7 group of global economies has urged Russia and other countries that may harbour criminal ransomware groups within their borders to take accountability for tracking them down and disrupting their operations.

In a communique issued following the closure of the G7 Summit at Carbis Bay in Cornwall, the group reiterated its “interest” in stable, predictable relationships with Russia, and urged Vladimir Putin’s government to take action in a number of policy areas including cyber crime.

“We reaffirm our call on Russia to … identify, disrupt and hold to account those within its borders who conduct ransomware attacks, abuse virtual currency to launder ransoms, and other cyber crimes,” the group said.

The group further reaffirmed a commitment to further understanding of how international law applies to cyberspace, and to work together to address the “escalating shared threat” from ransomware gangs.

“We call on all states to urgently identify and disrupt ransomware criminal networks operating from within their borders, and hold those networks accountable for their actions,” the group said.

The communique comes ahead of a planned speech by National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Lindy Cameron, to be delivered later today (14 June 2021) to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank.

According to an early trail of the annual RUSI Security Lecture, Cameron is expected to warn that while malicious, state-backed spying orchestrated by Moscow, Beijing and others is a concern, it is the escalating cyber criminal ransomware threat that poses the greatest danger to the vast majority of people in the UK.

Read more about the G7 Summit

  • Partnership will explore collaboration in areas such as innovation, research, defence, security, intelligence and law enforcement, as well as making sure technology is “used as a force for good”.
  • Speaking ahead of the G7 Summit, foreign secretary Dominic Raab says the UK is ready to take on cyber criminals and other malicious actors wherever they may be.

Meanwhile, the G7 also committed to ongoing collaboration towards a “trusted, values-driven digital ecosystem” and an “open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet” that is unfragmented, and supports freedom, innovation and trust to empower users.

“We will strengthen coordination on and support for the implementation and development of global norms and standards to ensure that the use and evolution of new technologies reflects our shared democratic values and commitment to open and competitive markets, strong safeguards including for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” said the group.

“We also affirm our opposition to measures which may undermine these democratic values, such as government-imposed internet shutdowns and network restrictions.

“We support the development of harmonised principles of data collection which encourage public and private organisations to act to address bias in their own systems, noting new forms of decision-making have surfaced examples where algorithms have entrenched or amplified historic biases, or even created new forms of bias or unfairness.”

The summit further addressed issues around internet safety and countering far-right hate speech, whilst protecting fundamental human rights and freedoms such as freedom of speech and expression.

“We will protect our citizens online and offline, including children and vulnerable at-risk groups, and especially women and girls. We therefore endorse our Digital Ministers’ Internet Safety Principle, which aim to set out common approaches to improving online safety. We invite Interior Ministers to work on a G7 agreement on sharing of information and best practice on tackling existing and emerging online forms of gender-based violence, including forms of online abuse,” said the G7.

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