Government appoints cyber ambassador

Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Dr Tobias Feakin appointed to newly created role

The government has appointed Dr Tobias Feakin to the newly created role of ambassador for cyber affairs.

Feakin has been the director of national security programs at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute since 2012. He also established the ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre.

Feakin was a member of the independent panel of experts that aided the development of the government’s cyber security review, which guided the creation of the national cyber security strategy.

The national cyber security strategy, released earlier this year, flagged the creation of the new role. “Australia will work with its international partners to champion an open, free and secure Internet,” the document stated.

“We will work together to address cyber security threats and highlight the opportunities a free Internet presents for the global economy. This work will be enhanced through the appointment of a Cyber Ambassador who will identify opportunities for practical international cooperation and ensure Australia has a coordinated, consistent and influential voice on international cyber issues.”

“Cyber threats are not bound by national borders so it is important we work with other countries to strengthen the global response to cybercrime,” said a statement issued today by foreign minister Julie Bishop and Dan Tehan, the minister assisting the prime minister for cyber security.

Tehan was appointed to his position in July as part of another initiative foreshadowed in the cyber security strategy.

“The Ambassador for Cyber Affairs will lead Australia’s international cyber effort, working closely with the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security,” the statement from Bishop and Tehan said.

“The Ambassador will support cyber capacity building in our region, advocate against state censorship of the Internet and promote Australia’s view that opportunities provided by the Internet should be available to all people.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in May appointed Alastair MacGibbon to the role of Special Advisor on Cyber Security.

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