The following is the text of a joint statement signed by the governments of Australia, Denmark, Norway, and the United States
We, Australia, Denmark, Norway, and the United States, recognize that advanced technologies are a vital part of global economic growth and communication, helping people become more interconnected, share knowledge, and advance freedom, democracy, and opportunity. Legitimate trade in these technologies, and responsible use, is essential for the well-being of our future generations. At the same time, authoritarian governments increasingly are using surveillance tools and other related technologies in connection with serious human rights abuses, both within their countries and across international borders, including in acts of transnational repression to censor political opposition and track dissidents. Such use risks defeating the benefits that advanced technologies may bring to the world’s nations and peoples.
Over the coming year of action, we commit to working to establish a voluntary, nonbinding written code of conduct around which like-minded states could politically pledge, to use export control tools to prevent the proliferation of software and other technologies used to enable serious human rights abuses. In addition, we will use the year of action to consult with industry and academia in our efforts.
The following is a list of governments have expressed support for the Export Controls and Human Rights Initiative: Canada, France, and the Netherlands, the United Kingdom.