"The question of security and stability of the cyberspace has become a major challenge … Today not a single day passes without discovering a new malicious activity in the cyberspace or a new information attack aimed at sabotage or influence. These threats represent — for the states and for the society — an unprecedented challenge that calls for an innovative response," Le Drian said during the session on cybersecurity at the Paris Peace Forum.
The French foreign minister stressed that private actors and non-profits had a big role to play in the fight against cyber threats, while arguing that the states retained the legal right to intervene in cyberspace to prevent the destabilization of the democratic practices or electoral process.
"We have to regulate a number of, particularly destabilizing practices. We need to protect ourselves against the risks of destabilizing the democratic or electoral process and avoid any external management of it … I want to point out the legitimacy of the states regarding intervention to ensure peace and international security in this domain. The responsibility and the legitimacy of the state does not end at the doors of the cyberspace," Le Drian said.
Earlier in the day, French President Emmanuel Macron launched the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace initiative, a declaration on developing common cybersecurity principles, at the UNESCO Internet Governance Forum.