Koenders launches International Cyber Strategy


Today, foreign minister Bert Koenders outlined his conviction that the Netherlands needs to be resilient in the digital age. In a letter to parliament, he submitted his plans for an International Cyber Strategy.

‘The Netherlands wants a safe, free and open internet. This takes work. We have to protect our vital infrastructure (government agencies, the energy sector and banks) from cyberattacks. To this end we need to form partnerships with other countries, international organisations, the IT sector, academics and civil society organisations,’ Mr Koenders said.

In this new strategy the government is focusing on six areas: economic growth and development of the internet; effective internet governance; further enhancement of cybersecurity; cybercrime; international peace, security and stability, and rights and internet freedom.

On Monday Mr Koenders will attend the presentation of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 in The Hague. This handbook, written by an international group of prominent jurists, explains how international law can be applied to cyber operations. The foreword was written by the minister.

‘The threat posed by cyberattacks and disinformation has only grown in the past few years. The Tallinn Manual 2.0 is an indispensable guide to a largely unexplored new field. Many rules date back to the pre-digital age, but malicious hackers and the wide dissemination of fake news are now a daily reality. We desperately need clarity about the rules so that action can be taken,’ Mr Koenders said.