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Shining light into darkness: Encouraging greater transparency of government offensive practices in cyberspace

by Admin — last modified Jun 05, 2019 06:53 AM
RightsCon is organizing a summit on human rights in the digital age in Tunis in June 2019. Sunil Abraham will be attending a conversation on encouraging greater transparency of government offensive practices in cyberspace on June 12.

In the plethora of different cybersecurity benchmark reports today, one is conspicuously missing. No entity has so far found a way to highlight and measure the different cyber offensive and deterrence doctrines, policies, or capabilities on a country-by-country basis. Similarly, there have been limited attempts to not only map, but monitor adherence to, international law and emerging international norms of behaviour in cyberspace.

During this session, pulled together by Microsoft, the Hewlett Foundation and Mastercard, we will explore whether there is value in developing either one or the other product, and assess how difficult they would be to realize.  Would such a report encourage greater transparency of these policies and as a result drive international discussion about responsible behaviour in cyberspace? What would data would be required for it to generate a meaningful impact?

We will also examine whether there are lessons that can be learnt on the development, use, and impact of seminal benchmarking reports, such as the Global Peace Index, the Nuclear Security Index, Human Rights Watch’s World Report, and others. This gap is being examined in the light of the potential creation of a CyberPeace Institute, an independent non-profit organization to empower the global community with the knowledge and capabilities to protect civilians in cyberspace from sophisticated systemic cyber-attacks. It is envisioned that the CyberPeace Institute would perform three key functions: a) increase transparency of information on cyberattacks that are perpetrated by sophisticated actors and have significant, direct harm on civilians and civilian infrastructure; b) advance the role of international law and norms in governing the behavior of states and other actors in cyberspace; and c) deliver assistance at scale to the most vulnerable victims of qualifying cyberattacks, accelerating victims’ recovery and increasing their resilience. More information on the proposed Institute can be find in the attached overview.

The conversation will take place at RightsCon, in the Erythrean room on Wednesday, June 12 from 4:30 p.m - 5:30 p.m.