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Microsoft Launches CyberPeace Institute to Tackle Attacks

Microsoft and others have launched a new non-profit which aims to reduce the “frequency, impact and scale” of cyber-attacks on citizens and critical infrastructure (CNI).

The Hewlett Foundation and Mastercard, alongside other unnamed “leading organizations,” have joined Microsoft as initial funders of the CyberPeace Institute.

Its three core functions are to: help and defend civilian victims of cyber-attacks, including by mobilizing a new CyberVolunteer Network, analyze and investigate attacks, to raise understanding and drive global accountability and promote cybersecurity norms of responsible behavior by nation states.

“The escalating attacks we’ve seen in recent years are not just about computers attacking computers – these attacks threaten and often harm the lives and livelihoods of real people, including their ability to access basic services like heath care, banking and electricity,” argued Microsoft corporate vice president, Tom Burt.

“For years, non-governmental organizations around the world have provided on-the-ground help and vocal advocacy for victims of wars and natural disasters, and have convened important discussions about protecting the victims they serve. It’s become clear that victims of attacks originating on the internet deserve similar assistance, and the CyberPeace Institute will do just that.”

The Geneva-based organization will be headed up by President Marietje Schaake, former member of the European Parliament and international policy director at Stanford university’s Cyber Policy Center and CEO Stéphane Duguin, head of the European Internet Referral Unit at Europol.

The institute joins other recent initiatives designed to tackle the global challenge of cybercrime and incidents impacting CNI, including: the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, which has signed up more than 100 companies and the Paris Peace Call for Trust & Security in Cyberspace, which now has signatories from 67 countries, 139 international and civil society organizations, and 358 private organizations.

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