Earlier this month, Talita Dias (Shaw Foundation Junior Research Fellow in Law, Jesus College) and Rhiannon Neilsen (Research Consultant for IPS) submitted written evidence to the UK Parliament for its inquiry into Tech and the Future of UK Foreign Policy. The inquiry focussed on how the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) should support the UK’s response to the opportunities and challenges presented by new and emerging technologies, including through new forms of diplomatic engagement and building globally shared understandings of standards, rules and norms for the responsible development and use of new technologies.
The submission posits that control over information and communications technologies, as well as online and offline artificial intelligence systems, are currently shifting the international power landscape. It notes that global threats occurring in this context include ransomware, information technology supply chain attacks, cyber influence or information operations, and electronic surveillance. To promote responsible business practices online, the submission argues that FCDO should support corporate compliance with international human rights law. Furthermore, to foster responsible state behaviour in cyberspace, the submission encourages the FCDO to work with relevant government bodies to update and revise the UK’s national views on international law in the cyber context, particularly as it pertains to sovereignty and due diligence.