Britain's New Deals On Digital Trade & Cyber Security

Singapore and Britain have signed three deals on digital trade and cyber security and now the UK and Israel have also signed a new agreement promising increased cooperation in cyber security. The 10-year agreement with Israel was signed on November 29th in London by UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. 

Among the provisions is a pledge to forge a closer alliance on cyber and tech, to “help to ensure that future standards on new technology are shaped by democratic nations.”

Britain and Israel have signed a joint commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and the the two countries have agreed to work closely to defend themselves in cyberspace. Israel will become a tier one cyber partner for the UK and have greater access to the British market. “Our partnership will keep us at the forefront of the technological revolution,” Truss and Lapid added.

Meanwhile, private Israeli spyware companies, NSO Group and Candiru that have been making headlines for allegedly enabling repressive governments to target and surveil human rights defenders, dissidents, journalists and heads of state.

Speaking to reporters, Emily Taylor, CEO of Oxford Information Labs and an associate fellow in Chatham House’s International Security programme, said activities in this field often come with inherent human rights risks and require checks and balances and mechanisms, which ensure they are being observed.

Singapore and the UK will share knowledge and implementation of pilot projects aimed at digitising trade, such as electronic trade documents and invoicing. These projects will help with the adoption of digital trade solutions at bilateral and international levels, according to a statement recently published by Singapore’s government.

The agreements will underpin the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA), currently being negotiated, which seeks to enhance the trade relationship and boost digital trade for businesses and benefits for consumers.
Singapore and the UK aim to develop mutual recognition of digital identity verification regimes between the two under the second deal. This could again reduce barriers to cross-border trade by speeding up identity verification and making this more reliable.

Under the third deal, which is based on existing cooperation on cyber security, the two countries will look to collaborate in areas including the internet of things (IoT) security, promoting cyber resilience and capacity building. The two aim to build a “secure and resilient” cyberspace for businesses and consumers.

The Singapore deals will support the shared goals and key principles of the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (UKDEA), negotiations on which are ongoing and aim to be completed shortly. This is considered as the first cyber agreement of its kind between an Asian and a European country.

SingaporeMCI.GovPinsentMasons:    Infosecurity Magazine:    Business Wales:    Guardian:   

Middle East Eye:      TelecomPaper

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