07 October 2017
Media reports have termed the failure to produce a consensus report on setting norms of behaviour in cyberspace as a ‘collapse’ of the process led by an international core of experts in cybersecurity. They are known as the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunication in the context of International Security (UNGGE). Prominent thinkers lamented the group’s inability to build on the progress made in the previous rounds of the UNGGE in the governance of cyberspace: in 2012/13, agreeing that international law applies in cyberspace; and, in 2014/15, proposing a set of eleven voluntary, but non-binding norms that states should adopt as best practice.
UNGGE Chair, Karsten Geier, insists that it was no failure. Geier said the experts at the UNGGE had broad agreement on points including capacity-building measures; confidence-building measures; raising awareness among senior decision-makers; conducting exercises; defining protocols for notifications about incidents; warnings when critical infrastructure is attacked; and preventing non-state actors from conducting cyber-attacks. The experts also agreed that there is space for further negotiation and there were options for compromise.
… Eugene EG Tan is an Associate Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), a constituent unit of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
CENS / Online
Last updated on 09/10/2017