Meet Australia's first 'cyber ambassador'

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Meet Australia's first 'cyber ambassador'
Dr Tobias Feakin

Feakin will advocate for digital freedoms on the global stage.

Infosec academic and policy advisor Dr Tobias Feakin will become Australia’s first cyber ambassador, filling a diplomatic role created by the government’s April cyber security strategy.

Feakin's appointment makes him a key counterpart to the Prime Minister’s special adviser on cybersecurity, Alastair MacGibbon, leading international efforts to stamp out cyber crime.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today said the high-profile academic will also be tasked with advocating against online censorship on the international stage.

“The ambassador will support cyber capacity building in our region, advocate against state censorship of the internet and promote Australia’s view that opportunities provided by the internet should be available to all people,” Bishop said in a statement.

“Cyber threats are not bound by national borders so it is important we work with other countries to strengthen the global response to cybercrime.”

Feakin will work under the guidance of Bishop and senior diplomats at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He will also team up with Dan Tehan, who was named Minister Assisting the PM for Cyber Security in July.

Feakin, who has a PhD in international politics and security studies, will start in the role in January.

The English-born academic has spent his time most recently studying the maturity of cyber security policy, and state responses to cyber crime and espionage, in the Asia-Pacific as founding chief of the International Cyber Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

He advises organisations globally on responses to the threat of cyber crime and attacks, and contributes research and advice to defence and cyber security centres at the UK’s Oxford University, the US Institute for Defence and Security Studies and global panels.

Feakin is a familiar face to the Australian infosec community, and was one of the key architects of the revised cyber security strategy that formally established his new role.

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