The UK and US governments have agreed to work together more closely to tackle cybercrime as well as enhance the security of supply chains and emerging technologies. The announcement has come amid US President Joe Biden’s visit to the UK for the G7 summit, which has started today.
The partnership will be built within the framework of the revitalized Atlantic Charter, first introduced in 1941, and will cover a range of areas in science and technology, including cybersecurity.
The two nations stated that they intend to cooperate to enhance the resilience and security of critical supply chains, battery technologies and emerging technologies such as AI and quantum. This forms part of their desire to ensure the full potential of future technologies like quantum and 6G are realized in the future.
Additionally, the two governments aim to improve the accessibility and flow of data to support economic growth, public safety, and scientific and technological progress.
More generally, the agreement emphasized the need to ensure liberal and democratic values are embedded into the design and standards governing technology globally. This is an issue that the director of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming, highlighted in a speech back in April this year.
UK digital secretary, Oliver Dowden, commented: “In the 80 years since the Atlantic Charter was signed, technology has changed the world beyond recognition. But the goals that underpin it still bind the US and UK together today: support for democracy, open societies and free markets.
“Today’s announcement marks a new era of cooperation with our closest ally, in which we commit to using technology to create prosperity and guarantee the safety and security of our citizens for years to come.”
Following the announcement, in an interview published in The Daily Telegraph last night, the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, also revealed that the UK and US will work more closely together to “take the fight to cyber-criminals,” especially those targeting vital services like schools and hospitals.
Commenting, Charlie Smith, consulting solutions engineer at Barracuda Networks, said: “This announcement marks a turning point for the war on cyber-criminals, with the UK and US joining forces to root out and bring those responsible to justice. The sharp rise in ransomware attacks against schools, hospitals, local councils, and other critical national infrastructure cannot be underestimated and a concerted effort needs to be made to protect and secure these vital organizations from increasingly brazen attacks.”