Cyberspace Cooperation

The Global Cooperation in Cyberspace Initiative seeks to reduce conflict, crime and other disruptions in cyberspace and promote stability, innovation and inclusion.

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McConnell Talks State of Electoral System with GCN

EWI Global Vice President, Bruce McConnell, spoke with GCN to discuss the dangerous state of the electoral system's security.

Discussing threats to the American electoral system, McConnell noted that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "did not pay enough attention to the cyber risk" of voter fraud during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

"There are no security standards at this point, and it is possible that there is a need for regulation," he added, regarding the state of the DHS. While it has become increasingly challenging to secure voting sytems, McConnell said that some type of regulation should be implemented "sooner rather than later." 

Click here to read the full article on ICT publication GCN.

Chertoff, McConnell Discuss Nation-State Cyber Attacks with Bloomberg

Bruce McConnell, EWI Global Vice President, and Michael Chertoff, member of EWI Board of Directors, discuss the increasing risk of nation-state cyber attacks with Bloomberg BNA

With an outstanding increase in nation-state cyber attacks worldwide, Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, noted that it is "critical" to treat investments in the cybersecurity realm as one would treat investments in seperate departments.

Nation-state attacks on corporations in the private-sector have become a recent trend, however, an increasingly dangerous trend at that. Bruce McConnell, Global Vice President EWI, says that "even assuming the most benign motivations by all the parties in these various incidences, ungoverned state-on-state skirmishes in cyberspace increasingly undermine terrestrial security and stability." 

Click here to read the full story on Bloomberg BNA.

Berkeley Cyber Summit: Day III

The seventh Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit, hosted by the EastWest Institute, completed its work in Berkeley by making significant progress on key global cybersecurity issues.


On Day III, Bruce McConnell, Global Vice President of the EastWest Institute, kicked off with comments to contextualize many of the ongoing discussions taking place among participants. McConnell took stock of the view that cyber continues to be a new frontier, an exciting place that represents the edge of the future—our collective future. Importantly, heightened connectivity brings the entire world closer and with it, the challenge of forging a path forward for cybersecurity that requires new rules both in policy and practice. He concluded by expressing his appreciation for everyone’s engagement at the Summit, underlining its role in moving the needle forward with allowing time to discuss the problems versus time expended on driving solutions.      


The Young Leaders panel provided a platform for five ambitious young professionals and academics who represent the new wave of thinking among tomorrow’s cybersecurity practitioners. Each of the panelists expressed a viewpoint on how cybersecurity is evolving and the key challenges ahead. These included: the need for structures to enhance dialogue between public and private sectors; using such dialogues to bring forth a level of governance across various sectors and countries (inclusive policymaking that goes beyond a security-only perspective); understanding why so many countries seek to develop an offensive cyber capability; providing clarity where certain cyber experts and firms confuse the landscape as to what is a an actual cyber threat; and the need for regimes in the future post-cyber world that will be underlined by AI, biohacking and similar advancements.  


Breakthrough group representatives reported on results from workshop sessions, focusing on proposed next steps. The representatives were questioned by a distinguished international panel that posed questions and added insights. The panel was comprised of Latha Reddy, Distinguished Fellow, EastWest Institute; Former Deputy National Security Advisor of India; Co-Chair, Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace Speakers; Shen Yi, Associate Professor, Research Center for the Governance of Global Cyberspace, Fudan University; and Eli Sugarman, Program Officer, Cyber Initiative, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Each of the representatives reported on the range of valuable insights offered by participants and the robust dialogue that took place, often reflecting contrasting points of view based on experience, strategic outlook and cultural diversity. Emphasis was placed on the next programmatic steps that each group will take to maintain momentum, and ensure continued progress. The breakthrough group report slides may be found here.


René Bonvanie, Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, Palo Alto Networks, delivered the keynote address, The Leap Forward. He first focused on the aspect of trust—both in innovation and productivity, examining how both aspects of innovation have evolved over time, where recent history has shown many innovations start off as constructive tools, only to morph into negative applications. Think drones.

Bonvanie went on to explain that unbridled innovation may have a distinct dark side, where the lack of rules of engagement fosters bad behavior. Moving forward he argued we will need to evolve our technology ecosystem into Sharing 2.0, consisting of information and data exchange as regards devices, sensors and probes, algorithms and policies, and machine learning—all for the greater good.


Betsy Cooper, Executive Director, Center for Long-term Cybersecurity at Berkeley led a panel featuring experts representing the commercial technology sector. The panelists—Ray Dolan, President and CEO, Sonus Networks; Sami Nassar, Vice President, Cyber Security Solutions, NXP Semiconductors; and Andy Purdy, Chief Security Officer, Huawei Technologies USA—dove into a range of topics, including big data; 5G and the coming demands of interoperability to move seamlessly from one platform to another; the commoditization of connectivity technology, where security is increasingly becoming a cost center; and the aspect of authentication, developing a “passport” where possible security threats are stopped at the border of the network rather than the current means of trying to catch the culprit after entry.

The panelists concluded by sharing their viewpoints about attracting, training and retaining talent. The talent pipeline represents a tremendous challenge for the tech industry, which is responding with the introduction of internal universities, sophisticated, multiple-year training programs and related initiatives to build and retain top talent.


Francis Fukuyama, Mosbacher Director, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, at Stanford University, was featured in a discussion on trust in cybersecurity. He commented on the role of the Internet and social media which at its onset, was seen as having a positive impact on democracy. Fukuyama explained that the perception was the net got rid of gatekeepers while mobilizing activism. Today, that perception has been turned on its head, as those gatekeepers are missing and only now audiences begin to realize their value—to mediate and curate news and help provide a balance in presentation—offsetting the new reality of fake news, or as he called it, “today’s wild west of information sharing.”

The new information landscape has also brought about a new phenomenon, whereas bandwidth has increased, political compartmentalization has risen in step—meaning likeminded people gather and share their opinions, which without the benefit of diverse opinion, can regress into more extreme positions. He concluded that in today’s era of polarization, trust and verification are required to ensure that good information will push out bad information.

Looking Forward

This concludes the final day of the Summit, but not the conclusion of the important work being undertaken by the EastWest Institute, its sponsors and participants. EWI thanks each of its event sponsors and all 218 participant experts who took the time to engage with their peers to address critical areas of cybersecurity.

Click here for Day II

Click here for Day I

Live from EWI's Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit VII

Day III of the EastWest Institute’s Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit VII starts today at 9:00 a.m. PDT. Watch today's plenary sessions via livestream! 

March 15, 09:00 PT

March 15, 11:40 PT

March 16, 09:00 PT

March 16, 11:00 PT

For more information about the Summit, click here.

Follow us on Twitter at @EWInstitute for live updates! Use the hashtag #EWIcyber to join in the conversation.

Global Panel Puts Together Toolbox to Stabilize Cybersecurity Worldwide

Citing an increase in cyber attacks worldwide, a global commission formed in Germany last month to promote more dialogue, research and initiatives to make cyberspace more secure.

The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC) was launched at the Munich Security Conference by the Netherlands, the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, and the EastWest Institute. It will be based at the Hague and funded by the Dutch government, Microsoft, the Virginia-based Internet Society and other sponsors.

Click here to read the full story on ThirdCertainty.

McConnell Talks Reports of CIA Cyber Weapons

The sophisticated software tools and techniques reportedly used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to break into smartphones, computers and even internet-connected televisions  are probably not used on ordinary citizens, said EWI Global Vice President Bruce McConnell.

Talking to USA Today, in an article published on March 7, McConnell said “it’s probable that they’re reserved for use with high value targets” because such cyber weapons are typically used only once or a very few times because once used and seen by others, their advantage of surprise and secrecy is gone.

Click here to read the full story on USA Today.

Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit VII


The EastWest Institute’s Global Cooperation in Cyberspace program anticipates future security risks, defines the outlines of potential conflict and brings together the people who can do something about it.

An invitation-only event, the seventh cyber summit, organized in partnership with the UC Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity, will bring together policymakers, business leaders and technical experts to discuss the most pressing issues in international cyberspace, including securing the Internet of Things, balancing encryption and lawful access to data, developing norms of behavior, improving the security of information and communications technology (ICT) and strengthening the resilience of critical infrastructure.

Please visit for more information. 

When Does A Cyber Attack Mean War?

Bruce McConnell, who oversees the institute's Global Cooperation in Cyberspace Initiative, talks to The Center for Investigative Reporting's Reveal about global rules in cyberspace.

In 1996, the U.S. and Russia began meeting in secret to establish a set of common protocols for their respective operations in cyberspace. Since then, they’ve managed to agree, via the United Nations, that international law applies in the digital realm—and that countries must take responsibility for the actions of hackers operating within their borders. As recently as 2015, the two parties also agreed that no state should use digital tools to target each other’s critical infrastructure during peacetime.

But the common ground essentially ends there. While Russia historically has pushed for treaties that limit the use of digital weapons, the U.S. for years has claimed that cooperation among international police is a better technique for regulating cyberspace.

Throughout this standoff, both sides have taken shots at the other’s approach: U.S. critics say any treaty Russia creates would limit free speech by targeting citizens who find a way around the country’s censorship infrastructure; Russia maintains that America, in refusing to come to the table, is willfully stoking a digital arms race.

The latter assessment is not so far off, according to some experts.

“Of all countries, the U.S. has the fewest incentives to reach any binding agreements about the limitations of use of cyber weapons,” said Bruce McConnell, a former deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration. “When you have asymmetry in the world, as we still do, there’s less incentive in the most powerful superpower to put something on the table that says we won’t use this capability.”

Yet even as the U.S. has developed and refined its cyber arsenal, its deep reliance on information technology has made it among the world’s most alluring targets for hackers, McConnell said. 

Click here to read the full story on Reveal.



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