Joint Statement on the Third U.S.-Estonia Cyber Dialogue

Media Note
U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokeperson

JUNE 7, 2019

The following statement was released by the Government of the United States of America and the Republic of Estonia.

Cybersecurity policymakers from the United States and Estonia convened for their third bilateral cybersecurity consultation in Tallinn, June 7, 2019, to affirm their commitment to promoting rules-based international order and stability in cyberspace.  The Department of State and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia co-chaired the consultation, which included participation from the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense, as well as the Estonian Ministries of Interior, Economics, Defense, and Justice and the Estonian Information Systems Authority.

The United States and Estonia affirmed their shared vision of a secure and open cyberspace and commitment to continued collaborative efforts in international security, cyber resilience and critical infrastructure protection, combatting cybercrime, and promoting Internet freedom and the multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance.

The United States and Estonia envision a stable, global cyberspace, one in which all countries behave responsibly in cyberspace and are held accountable for their malicious cyber activity.  This vision is based on a cyber stability framework that is built on the applicability of existing international law to cyberspace, promotes adherence to certain voluntary, nonbinding norms of responsible State behavior in cyberspace in peacetime, and includes the development and implementation of cyber confidence building measures to reduce the risk of conflict and escalation in cyberspace.

This framework is reflected in the consensus-based reports of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications Security in the Context of International Security (UNGGE).  The United States and Estonia are pleased to be members of the 2019 UNGGE that will take this work forward, including further elaboration on how international law applies to State conduct in cyberspace.  Both the United States and Estonia will also productively participate in the UN Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on cyber-related issues to build on this consensus.

States that value stability should cooperatively respond to cyber incidents and work together to champion such efforts.  As such, Estonia will work closely with the United States in the framework of international Cyber Deterrence Initiative; both the United States and Estonia also commit to work with other partners to deter, attribute and respond to malicious cyber behavior, including developing and swiftly imposing consequences against malign actors that cause destructive, disruptive, or otherwise destabilizing cyber incidents.

The United States and Estonia remain committed to their existing bilateral cyber cooperation and seek deeper collaboration across agencies to combat cybercrime, to increase the numbers of states parties to the Budapest Cybercrime Convention, further cyber defense, and build greater cyber resilience, as well as to exchange best practices and share information on emerging threats.  Both countries prioritize cyber capacity building in developing and transition countries and look forward to coordination and cooperation opportunities.

The United States and Estonia actively engage in efforts to further promote internet freedom and the ability to exercise human rights online.  As members of the Freedom Online Coalition, both promote the same basic principle: the same rights that individuals have offline, must also be protected online.  Both are also strong supporters of the multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance, including the bottom-up, stakeholder participation on equal footing, and non-negotiating character of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

The United States and Estonia seek to leverage opportunities for deepening bilateral cooperation across cyber issues and collaborative efforts in various regional and multilateral venues toward achieving these common objectives in cyberspace.