Josep Borrell Fontelles needs no introduction. In European and national politics, he has done it all, including serving as the President of the European Parliament and as Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. He’s no stranger to digital and tech issues either: he spearheaded the process of liberalising Spain’s telecoms as Minister of Public Works and Transport in the early 1990s. In his role as the EU’s diplomat-in-chief, Borrell is now responsible for projecting the EU’s model and vision for cyberspace around the world. The task is not an easy one.
Although the US and the EU have been running mates in the international cybersecurity race, Europe has been a rather silent partner in this campaign. A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) underlines the unique features of European cyber power. The Privacy Shield verdict is a reminder that Europe is not like Russia. It is not like China. And it is not like the United States either.
Researchers do not agree whether, when or how deterrence works. It is a risky policy that does not provide any predictability of behaviour, to which the European Union should not subscribe. The EU should instead develop stronger, multi-layered resilience in and for Europe. Such a policy would be protective rather than threatening, persuasive rather than dissuasive, defensive rather than deterring and active rather than opportunist.
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 …
From addressing the knowledge and freedom gap to closing the gaps in gender and diversity, five practitioners from around the world told us what bridging divides in cyberspace means, what it entails and why it is important. Gaps are created by people, therefore only people can close them. This was the underlying assumption motivating Closing the Gap 2020, the International …
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.
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.
Already well-known in the human rights world, Eamon Gilmore has yet to become a familiar name in the tech and cyber community, but it’s high time they knew him. Gilmore represents the European Union on all human-rights related issues. That includes the impact of new technologies on human rights online and offline. He is an active advocate for social rights, a champion of the liberal agenda and a campaigner for women’s and LGBT+ rights. His next challenge? A world where digital technologies amplify human rights and dignity.
Disinformation and foreign influence operations are no longer just threatening the political, economic and social foundations of our societies. As the spread of COVID-19-related disinformation has shown, they can now also cause direct harm and cost human lives. As global efforts to counter disinformation grow, it’s time to seriously discuss possible consequences for those behind it.
The United States Cyberspace Solarium Commission outlines recommendations for better US-EU collaboration.
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