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Ritual Reverence to Deterrence in Cyberspace

Maria Mälksoo Commentary

The efficacy of deterrence as a method of conflict management is highly disputed. Yet, deterrence persists as a go-to security strategy and is flourishing in the spheres of cyber and information warfare. The EU is now embracing deterrence and its political appeal to advance its cybersecurity posture. But the prudence of this move remains unproven, and it is counterintuitive to …

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Cyber Arms Control and Risk Reduction

Caitriona Heinl Commentary

Discussions at the UN have revealed that “implementation is currently one of our biggest challenges”. Specifically, states are conscious of the need to translate non-military cyber confidence-building measures (CBMs) into concrete actions that are implementable by all states, thus moving beyond awareness-raising. This is especially the case where CBMs are viewed by bodies such as the EU as a practical …

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Hurdles to Protecting Global Critical Infrastructure

Anastasiya Kazakova Commentary

The ongoing UN dialogues about responsible behaviour in cyberspace have brought hope that a global solution can be reached to ensure peace in the cyber domain. However, there are already obstacles visible on the road ahead. This is particularly true for the overprotection of ICT infrastructure. With growing cyber insecurity amid the ongoing pandemic, it is more important than ever …

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Geopolitics of the Global Semiconductor Value Chain

Jan-Peter Kleinhans Commentary

The semiconductor value chain is highly interdependent, with some areas overwhelmingly dominated by a few companies or countries. Given Europe’s position in the value chain, European policymakers working toward strategic autonomy would do well to consider questions of access, leverage and resilience in addition to ownership. Semiconductors, such as processors or memory chips, are the drivers of the accelerating digitalization …

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A New UN Path to Cyber Stability

Aude Géry Commentary

The creation of a Programme of Action for advancing responsible state behaviour in cyberspace offers a path forward for the elaboration, implementation and monitoring of a framework of responsible state behaviour. It constitutes an interesting evolution and opportunity, borrowing from the advantages of both the GGE and the OEWG without taking on their historical legacies. On 1 October 2020, 40 …

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Elaborating International Law for Cyberspace

Duncan B. Hollis Commentary

The European Union has called for all states to publicise their views on how international law applies to cyberspace. To date, primarily European states have shared their national views. The OAS’s Improving Transparency project aims to add more American voices to the conversation. Early results of the initiative highlight the need for greater legal capacity building among states that have …

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Partnering with Africa on Cyber Diplomacy

Enrico Calandro Commentary

As the world moves from words to action on cyber diplomacy and the international community focuses on implementing a cyber stability framework, Africa is still several steps behind. But with its vibrant digital ecosystem and potential for growth, Africa is an important element in the global cyber diplomacy puzzle. Its unique context and needs have to be better addressed within the current processes.

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COVID-19 and International Cyber Law

Michael Schmitt Commentary

States and non-state actors are turning to cyberspace to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of their operations violate such international law rules as the requirement to the respect the sovereignty of other states, the prohibitions on intervention and the use of force, and international human rights law obligations and prohibitions.