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Parabasis: Cyber Diplomacy in Stalemate

Governments and industry around the world are working together to bring the next billion users online, but their synergies fade when it comes to how to keep online populations safe and secure. Further, the third and fourth billion of Internet users will enter a terrain very different from that available to their predecessors. Vulnerabilities in ICTs as well as de facto exploitation of these vulnerabilities by state and non-state actors has been acknowledged and problematized. Evidence of malicious and hostile operations involving ICTs and the Internet abounds. Uncertain about the true potential of ICTs, governments and users have focused on rules and responsibilities for protecting against cyberattacks, espionage and data manipulation. But where is there an understanding of how to remedy and improve the situation? Dealing with cybercrime and human rights online clearly falls within the responsibilities of the national authorities. However, not all issues of cybersecurity can be settled within national borders: they call for coordinated efforts and cooperation on the part of the international community. The most serious international issues concern international stability and security, requiring dialog and action involving all states.

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