Thirty-four technology companies have signed the “Cybersecurity Tech Accord,” a document that declares that the signatories will protect all of their customers from threats and will not “help governments launch cyber attacks against innocent citizens and enterprises from anywhere.”
The signatories include Microsoft and Facebook, Dell, VMware, HP and HP Enterprise, Cisco, Avast, CloudFlare, F-Secure, Symantec, Trend Micro, BT, Juniper Networks, and Telefonica, among others. Notably missing from the list are Google, Apple, and Amazon.
The accord, available here, has four key components:
- We will protect all of our users and customers everywhere.
- We will oppose cyber attacks on innocent citizens and enterprises from anywhere.
- We will help empower users, customers, and developers to strengthen cybersecurity protection
- We will partner with each other and with like-minded groups to enhance cybersecurity.
The accord is being referred to as a “digital Geneva Convention” to mirror the rules of engagement in technology in the same way that the Geneva Convention sets standards for conduct in war.
The issue is one of trust—”Just as people won’t put their money in a bank they won’t trust, people won’t use an Internet they won’t trust.”
The Accord is intended to prevent situations similar to the current Facebook scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and related organizations harvesting user data en masse and using it for psychologically tailored political advertising.