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A Path to Progress at the UN Cybersecurity Forum

Alexandra Paulus Opinions

Cybersecurity is a matter of international security. Recent incidents with implications for international security include ransomware operations conducted by groups with ties to a foreign government military intelligence service against Costa Rican government services and operations against the communication services used by the Ukrainian military conducted by Russian cyber threat actors. These developments make cyber diplomacy more relevant, but also …

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Tracking UN Voting Patterns on Cybercrime

Christian Dietrich Data Briefs

The establishment of the UN Ad Hoc Committee to Elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes was the result of a highly politicised approach by certain countries regarding international cooperation to fight cybercrime. Even though the Ad Hoc Committee has not even started working on substance, the disagreements over the …

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Russia’s Vision for a Cybercrime Treaty

Joyce Hakmeh Commentary

In January 2022, the UN will hold the first meeting to negotiate a treaty on cybercrime. While most states are in the process of developing their positions around the scope and the principles of this new treaty, Russia has already submitted a draft proposal to the UN suggesting it to be used as the basis of the negotiations. This draft …

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Cyber Diplomacy in 2021: Mid-term Review

Eneken Tikk Commentary

The spring of 2021 brought two landmark international cybersecurity events: all UN member states lined up behind the final report of the Open-ended Working Group, and the UN GGE of 25 government experts was able to produce a consensus report. These breakthroughs mark the beginning of a more nuanced dialogue and an era in which, to break truly common ground …

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India’s Vision for Cyber Diplomacy

Asoke Mukerji Opinions

India’s rapid integration into the Digital Economy has been driven by her financial and telecoms sector reforms. The growth of trade, manufacturing, services and investment sectors have generated a $3 trillion economy. The concerns over sustainability of this growth have turned India’s interest in a stable and secure international digital environment into a priority. International trade contributes 40% of India’s …

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Could Cyber-Diplomacy Learn From Outer Space?

Andre Barrinha Opinions

While the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) consensus report on ICTs in the context of international security is perhaps a successful compromise, it brought limited novelty in terms of cyber norms. Fifty-five years ago, there was another “space” in need of international regulation as a consequence of technological innovation: outer space, which yielded concrete results in the form of the …

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Cybercrime Negotiations: Affairs Beyond States

Joyce Hakmeh Opinions

Effectively fighting cybercrime requires cooperation between different communities and stakeholders. Governments enjoy a monopoly on power when it comes to law enforcement and criminal justice, but they need the involvement of the private sector and civil society organisations to make their policies work. With the launch of a new UN process addressing cybercrime around the corner, states cannot afford 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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Navigating a Finnish Take on International Law

Eneken Tikk Interviews

If you’re talking about international law and cyberspace, it’s hard to find a better person to talk to than Ambassador Marja Lehto, who wrote the recent Finnish position paper on the issue. A renowned international lawyer, Dr Lehto served as the Finnish expert in the tense 2016-2017 UN GGE. In 2016, she was elected to the International Law Commission of the UN (ILC) for the term of 2017-2021 with 175 votes, the highest vote total of the entire election.