Russia and China Edge Out US With Proposed Cyber Security Pact

Russia and China look set to sign a bilateral cyber security agreement next month in a move which could further isolate the US on the world stage.

Russian newspaper Kommersant, whose owner has ties to Vladamir Putin, cited sources “close to the Kremlin” as saying the “two-sided agreement” would probably be ready by November 10, when the president will be in Beijing to attend the APEC summit.

Putin and China’s president Xi Jinping are also expected to hold a joint address on information security during the visit, the report said.

The agreement is largely designed to build confidence and mutual trust between the two countries, to prevent cyber incidents escalating into full-blown conflict.

No doubt with a nod to the NSA, it will state the countries’ opposition to the use of technology to interfere in the “internal affairs” of independent states; undermine sovereignty, political, economic and social stability; disturb public order; promote terrorism; foment ethnic and religious hatred; and other criminal purposes.

It is also likely to outline Russia and China’s well known opposition to Icann’s oversight of the internet and to assert the “sovereign right” of states to control their own domestic internet.  

The agreement will be much greater in scale than the 2013 cyber security pact between the US and Russia – the first of its kind between the Cold War foes – which was designed mainly to set up a hotline between the countries to prevent the escalation of cyber incidents.

The bilateral pact comes at a time when Washington’s relationship with Beijing continues to  deteriorate over NSA spying revelations on one side and the continued incursions of state-backed hackers into corporate networks for financial gain on the other.

China pulled out of a joint cyber security working group established by the two superpowers after the US took the unprecedented step back in May of indicting five PLA soldiers it said were responsible for hacking a group of American companies.

China and Russia’s co-operation on IT matters is growing, however, with Huawei recently given the 2.5bn ruble ($60m) contract to build the Magadan - Sakhalin - Kamchatka underwater cable.  

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