Highlighting some of the issues, challenges and opportunities in cyberspace that keep me awake at night, whether because they inspire or worry me!
It is said that before solving a problem, you have to recognize there is one in the first place. There is a serious trust deficit in cyber and this will continue to grow if action is not taken to address the underlying reasons for this. The Internet became a space of forced compromise. We had to accept spam in our inbox. We had to accept cookies hungry for personal data. We had to accept disinformation in our social media. Are we going to consider cyberattacks as another tax we have to pay to access the network?
As the excellent 2021 Edelman’s Trust Barometer highlights, “Institutions must partner with one another to solve issues. Business, government, media, and NGOs must find a common purpose and take collective action to solve societal problems.” I couldn’t agree more, and am committed to continued engagement and outreach across all sectors to raise the alarm about key issues related to cyberpeace and propose concrete solutions.
Talking of concrete solutions, the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime turned 20 years old last month. This Convention brought real hope in international judicial cooperation as it provides for an effective justice response in cases of criminal misuse of the internet. Beyond a convention, it became a vibrant community, a trusted environment where hundreds of practitioners are producing processes, technologies and expertise to fight cross border cybercrime and protect victims. It is a working tool, one of the few international agreements on cybercrime and electronic evidence, and has enabled operations to track down and arrest criminal gangs. States have to show leadership and use such instruments.
At a time when predictions are coming fast and furious that the cost of cyberattacks will multiply dramatically in the next few years, we have to act more decisively now. Costs must not only be measured in financial terms, they must first and foremost be measured in human terms. Costs to lives, health and livelihoods. We must make cyber about people. This will continue to be my mantra.
As the year closes, I would like to thank the donors, volunteers, partners and companies who have supported the CyberPeace Institute. Together we are making a difference for people, for human rights and for cyberpeace.
I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the points I raise, and/or what subjects you think should be keeping me awake. You can get in touch with me via [email protected]