A week before Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in Mumbai that will highlight how digital technology is empowering people, a top company executive has called for “Digital Geneva Convention” to protect innocent civilians from cyber crimes.

While addressing a RSA cyber security conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith called on the world’s governments to host a “Digital Geneva Convention”.

“Needed: a Digital Geneva Convention to protect civilians on the internet, as the 1949 Geneva Conv. protects civilians in times of war. #RSAC,” Smith tweeted ahead of the conference.

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In another tweet he said that “Tech’s cyber-security promise must be clear. We will assist and protect customers everywhere. We will not help attack customers anywhere. #RSAC”

The original Geneva Convention is primarily a set of global agreements, signed in 1949 and negotiated in the aftermath of the Second World War (1939-45), to protect civilians, prisoners and others during war.

In simpler words, Microsoft wants the world to agree on stop hacking innocent civilian targets who cannot hack back.

“Just as the Fourth Geneva Convention has long protected civilians in times of war, we now need a Digital Geneva Convention that will commit governments to protecting civilians from nation-state attacks in times of peace,” Smith wrote in a blog post.

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He said that Microsoft, like companies across the tech sector, was aggressively taking new steps to better protect and defend customers, including from nation-state attacks.

This includes new security features at every level of the technology stack, reflecting the $1 billion that we’re spending annually in the security field, Smith wrote.



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