Australian Cyber Ideas in Moscow


Greg Austin speaks at Russian MFA Cyberstability Conference

On December 13-14, UNSW Professor Greg Austin spoke at a highly select conference in Moscow on “Cyberstability: Approaches, Perspectives, Challenges”. This small conference was hosted by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Institute of Information Security at Moscow State University, and International Affairs magazine. The Track 1.5  conference pooled expertise from international and Russian scholars and top decision makers. The two-day conference held in Moscow canvassed pressing issues, such as state responsibility and sovereignty, international cooperation, and future challenges of developing technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things. New threats, such as the vulnerability  to hacking of Smart Cities and the Russian Digital Economy program, were also raised.  Austin was representing the EastWest Institute, which has offices in New York, Palo Alto, Brussels and Moscow.

Austin’s remarks explored China’s cybersecurity landscape and its challenges in dependency on Western technology. Citing his 2018 book, Cybersecurity in China, Austin observed that China’s cybersecurity is weak due to many reasons, including a poorly developed cyber industrial complex. He also observed that the country’s entanglement with the West through dependencies on U.S. networks, and said that this meant we should not take at face vale China’s absolutist view of cyberspace sovereignty. At the same time, the U.S. ICT sector had quite a dependency on Chinese production lines. Russia, on the other hand, is less entangled and seems to have a greater ability than China to tolerate confrontational bilateral relations with the U.S., Austin noted.