Cyberspace is a unique human-made environment on which global society is increasingly dependent for its well-being. At the same time, states and non-state actors are engaged in detrimental cyber activity that can threaten to transform this special environment into just another battleground. Diplomatic efforts to develop international “norms of responsible state behavior” have not kept pace with growing military cyber security capabilities. A Sino–Russian initiative for an “International Code of Conduct for Information Security” has problematic aspects and could prove divisive if brought before the UN General Assembly for adoption. A series of reports by UN Group of Governmental Experts have generated some important general conclusions and positive recommendations for confidence building measures, but they remain only proposals. There is a need for more Western leadership in ensuring that expert recommendations are transformed into state commitments if the peaceful nature of cyberspace is to be preserved.Published in the Simons Working Papers series as: Meyer, Paul. Seizing the Diplomatic Initiative to Control Cyber Conflict. Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. 45/2015, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, September 2015.
Paul Meyer homepage: http://www.sfu.ca/dialogue/about-us/fellows.html#Meyer
Note: The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2015. See http://tandfonline.com, DOI 10.1080/0163660X.2015.1064709.
The Washington Quarterly
Seizing the Diplomatic Initiative to Control Cyber Conflict (SWP 45)
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