Asean and Australia should work closer together on cybersecurity issues, which range from Internet crimes to fake news, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Sunday (March 18).
In a speech to other Asean leaders and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a plenary session at the Asean-Australia Special Summit, he noted that cybercrimes are a transboundary problem that is difficult to police.
“It can have a drastic impact on our populations, for example in terms of critical infrastructure; and it can be insidious – undermining the trust which holds our societies together, for example through fake news.”
The world is getting more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats, not less, he added, and so it is essential for governments to develop new rules and norms to cope with the challenge.
There is also potential for this region to play a role in the international discourse on cyber-security, Mr Lee said, noting that a proposed Asean-Australia Cyber Policy Dialogue can be a platform for greater policy exchange and capacity-building.
Another promising area for strategic cooperation is in developing smart cities, he said.
A new Asean-Australia Smart Cities Initiative, announced by Mr Turnbull on Saturday, complements the Asean Smart Cities Network initiative and Asean’s Masterplan on Asean Connectivity 2025, he added.
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