Author: Severin Walker, M3AAWG Chairman
Since the inception of M3AAWG, our mission has remained focused on combating online abuse – regardless of where it occurs – through industry collaboration. Online abuse does not stop at national borders and neither does our work. From our very first M3AAWG General Meeting, with professionals representing Japan and the European Union in attendance, our online anti-abuse work has taken international perspectives and methodologies into account to develop industry resources and best practices to help protect end-users across the globe. Today, as technologies and platforms become increasingly globalized, our outreach initiatives serve a vital role in ensuring the privacy and security of the online ecosystem.
As the organization has grown–in both membership and areas of focus (from MAAWG to M3AAWG)–we’ve strengthened our international collaboration, penning partnerships with, and supporting, aligned organizations across the globe. Today, we work in close coordination with the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LAC-NIC), and the Japan Anti-Abuse Working Group (JP-AAWG) to evangelize online anti-abuse efforts across regions.
“M3AAWG is a valuable opportunity for engineers from major service providers on the Internet to participate. We’re grateful for the opportunity to host M3AAWG members to provide information to the JPAAWG general meeting, which provides extremely valuable information to those who do not participate in M3AAWG meetings directly.” – Sakuraba Shuji, JP-AAWG Chairman
“M3AAWG has become a ‘must’ fora, in which I can learn, share and contribute. M3AAWG has been putting a handful of energy on bringing online anti-abuse training and knowledge to the Latin American community and has also been very welcoming to listen to and learn from us. The trusting relationships we are building will move us forward and help the online anti-abuse community grow.” – Lucimara Desidera, LAC-AAWG Chairwoman
Recently, M3AAWG collaboration with LAC-AAWG and LACNIC produced a joint Best Current Operational Practices (BCOP) document on Minimum Security Requirements for Customer Premises Equipment. The BCOP has been recently used as the basis for Brazilian Telecom Regulator ANATEL's new cybersecurity regulations, helping to provide a more secure Internet experience for Brazilian users.
Additionally, in January 2021, M3AAWG supported the formation of the African Anti-Abuse Working Group (AF-AAWG), focused on providing training and educational resources for African internet Service Providers (ISPs), mobile operators, and research and education-focused institutions, among others. Mirroring other regional online anti-abuse working groups, AF-AAWG will work to strengthen regional anti-abuse expertise, conduct anti-abuse research, publish Best Common Practices, and convene anti-abuse actors and operators to promulgate and operationalize anti-abuse norms and principles across the region. Alongside these efforts, AF-AAWG will provide support to appropriately guide public policy officials in the formulation of industry standards and regulations.
“The formation of AF-AAWG is the product of several African institutions joining forces to help educate and provide resources for African ISPs, mobile operators, universities, and other institutions. AF-AAWG, supported by AfricaCERT, will build on the online anti-abuse awareness efforts by M3AAWG, among other organizations within the African Region. M3AAWG has been a continuous partner in this effort, with subject matter experts providing overviews on topics such as DDoS Mitigation, BGP Hijacking Defense, and Abuse Desk best practices at various meetings, including at multiple Africa Internet Summits.” – Jean-Robert Hountomey, Security Researcher, AfricaCERT
In addition to these partners, international standards and non-profit organizations, including the Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA), Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), Global Cyber Alliance (GCA), and the Internet Society (ISOC), among others (full list of partners), play an integral role in developing comprehensive security best practices that transcend borders.
Together, through continuous cooperation and evangelism, we’ve helped to catalyze widespread adoption of security standards. Significantly, in 2014 and 2015, M3AAWG promoted and endorsed the use of encryption and encrypted protocols to secure data in transit, guard against unwanted surveillance and prevent backdoor access for law enforcement – which could potentially be exploited by cybercriminals. Today, as the result of global partnerships and coordination, the use of encryption and encrypted protocols are fundamental in protecting online activity.
The work of the online anti-abuse community is cyclical in nature, with standards constantly becoming outdated as malicious actors find new ways to circumvent protections; and M3AAWG and its partners have embraced the challenge of staying ahead of the latest online threats targeting end-users around the world. Together, we’re better prepared to understand and combat today’s most pressing threats, and look over the horizon to prepare for the threats of tomorrow. Today, the online ecosystem is safer as a result of the work of M3AAWG and its partners. While the ever-evolving fight against online abuse continues, our partnerships have continued to put the online-abuse community in a position of strength, enabling us to better protect all end-users around the globe.