As threats in cyberspace proliferate, global cyber governance is becoming more challenging, more imperative and more complex.
The recent UN Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies (OEWG) and UN Group of Governmental Experts on Advancing responsible State behaviour in cyberspace in the context of international security (GGE) processes on cyberspace have produced consensus reports which have been hailed as major developments in global cyberspace governance.
With a new five-year UN OEWG process (2021-2025) underway, it is expected that the next few years will continue to be crucial in shaping this agenda.
The true success of these UN processes is contingent upon operationalizing the consensus at the international level and reflecting it in national policies and practices in a way that aligns with national and regional socio-economic and security priorities.
Given i) the novelty of some aspects of the cyber governance debate, ii) the intersections that exist between cyber and digital policy areas (cybersecurity, cybercrime, Internet governance, etc.) and other national priorities, and iii) the differing levels of maturity that exist between states, there is a strong need for filling research gaps and for developing and implementing targeted capacity-building activities.
With support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this project aims to create shared language and references on international cyber governance, raise awareness on key developments in the two UNGA forums and help inform state policies on cyber norms.
Between August 2019 and June 2022, the first phase of this project produced:
- A special issue of the Journal of Cyber Policy;
- 3 video explainers in the 6 UN languages on the rules of cyberspace, creating a stable cyberspace, and the role of capacity building in cyberspace;
- A five-episode podcast mini-series on ‘Who Rules Cyberspace?’;
- A meeting summary from a regional conference held in Jordan on cyber diplomacy and governance.
The second phase of this project is implemented jointly by Chatham House’s International Security and International Law programme.
Through two parallel tracks – a policy track and an international law track – the second phase of this project will:
- Lead on a process aimed at developing options for operationalizing the principles;
- Support the operationalization of the OEWG’s capacity building principles by communicating the principles more widely and developing options and recommendations for their implementation in the context of the OEWG work and beyond;
- Advance understanding of the application of certain rules on state responsibility in cyberspace; and
- Build state capacity on state responsibility and response options in cyberspace.