Thirty-four global tech companies have signed a pledge to not help governments launch cyberattacks on “innocent citizens”.

The list includes giants Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn, Cisco, and Oracle.

The Cybersecurity Tech Accord, spearheaded by Microsoft, was announced last week at leading security conference RSA in San Francisco, which was attended by ACS President Yohan Ramasundara and CEO Andrew Johnson as part of the USA Cyber Security Mission.

Australia's Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, Angus Taylor (centre) with ACS President Yohan Ramasundara (second from right) and ACS CEO Andrew Johnson (far right) at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. Source: Supplied

Microsoft President Brad Smith said the devastating cyber attacks of the past 12 months prove cyber security is not just about what any one company can do, but what the industry banded together can achieve.

“This tech sector accord will help us take a principled path towards more effective steps to work together and defend customers around the world,” he said.

As part of the accord, the signatories commit to protecting their users, opposing cyber attacks on citizens and enterprises, empowering users to strengthen cyber protection, and partnering with each other to enhance cyber security.

“The companies will not help governments launch cyberattacks against innocent citizens and enterprises, and will protect against tampering or exploitation of their products and services through every stage of technology development, design and distribution,” the accord states.

In an accompanying video, the signatories declare, “We won’t help anyone use our technology against our customers”.

However, not everyone has joined the party.

Notably, absent from the list is Google, Apple, and Amazon.

The complete list of current participating companies is as follows:

ABB, Arm, Avast, Bitdefender, BT, CA Technologies, Carbon Black (joined after the initial 34 companies), Cisco, Cloudflare, DataStax, Dell, DocuSign, Facebook, Fastly, FireEye, F-Secure, GitHub, Guardtime, HPE, HP Inc, Intuit, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Nielsen, Nokia, Oracle, RSA, SAP, Stripe, Symantec, Telefonica, Tenable, Trendmicro, and VMware.

More companies are expected to come on board.

In related cyber security news, Australia has joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), based in Tallinn, Estonia.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop, said Australia was keen to deepen engagement with the cyber defence experts at the CCDCOE.

“Now, more than ever, we must engage with the international community to set clear expectations for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace,” she said.

“The international rules-based order applies online, just as it does offline.”

Bishop said an Australian Defence Force member will be seconded to the CCDCOE for a three-month period each year and that this year Australia will observe Locked Shield, “the world’s largest cyber defence exercise.”