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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Weathering TechNationalism

EastWest Institute Introduces New Report Offering Framework to Manage Cyber Supply Chain Risk

The EastWest Institute (EWI) today released a new report, Weathering TechNationalism: A Security and Trustworthiness Framework to Manage Cyber Supply Chain Risk, designed to enhance information and communications technology (ICT) security and trustworthiness by balancing competing national interests. The report warns against relying on “TechNationalism”—measures that favor ICT products and services sold by companies headquartered domestically or in allied states—when it may lead to unintended, negative consequences.

“Though bans of companies or countries can be useful as statements of concern, they may also create a false sense of security,” said EWI Executive Vice President Bruce McConnell, who oversees the institute’s Global Cooperation in Cyberspace program and led the development of the report. “Weathering TechNationalism encourages a more realistic approach—mitigating cyber risks by applying well-known cybersecurity practices to critical digital infrastructure.”

Click here for the full report. 请点击此处阅读报告的中文翻译版.

Weathering TechNationalism provides policymakers, regulators, and corporate executives a five-part framework for mitigating supply chain risk in a holistic way. The framework lays out measures of assurance, transparency, and accountability that ICT buyers, operators, and vendors can implement jointly.

Supplementing this framework, the report recommends several balanced, risk-informed policy measures—in accordance with national and industry-specific policy goals—that may further ICT and supply chain security and avoid the negative consequences of TechNationalism. The action roadmap provides a whole-of-society approach and recommends that policymakers:

  • Enable threat and vulnerability information sharing,
  • Require diverse sources of supply,
  • Make strategic science and technology investments,
  • Consider narrow national security exceptions, and
  • Review and adapt national supply chain security goals and policies.

The report builds on previous work prepared by the EWI Breakthrough Group on Increasing the Global Availability and Use of Secure ICT Products and Services. Throughout the report’s development, primary authors, Andreas Kuehn and Bruce McConnell, worked in tandem with a wide range of industry experts, receiving substantive commentary and feedback.

For general inquiries, please contact Michael Depp at
For media inquiries, please contact Alex Schulman at

The Impact of AI on Nuclear Deterrence: China, Russia, and the United States

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an increasingly important component of weapons systems, with both positive and negative implications for nuclear deterrence. Integration of AI into military platforms has the potential to allow weaker nuclear-armed states to reset the imbalance of power, but at the same time it exacerbates fears that stronger states may further solidify their dominance and engage in more provocative actions.

China, Russia, and the US are all engaged in developing and integrating AI applications into their military modernization programs. These applications include machine learning, neural networks, and autonomy that feature in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. They also include the deployment of unmanned weapons-delivery and defense platforms.

Click here to read the full article on the East-West Center website.

Dr. Saalman Tours India, Japan and Korea to Discuss AI and Nuclear Risk

EWI Senior Fellow, Dr. Lora Saalman, contributed a book chapter on “China and India: Two Models for AI Military Acquisition and Integration” for the Routledge Handbook of China–India Relations. The abstract and book are available here.

Dr. Saalman’s book chapter follows on the heels of her recent speaking tours in India, Japan and Korea, where she presented on the impact of AI on nuclear risk, as well as Chinese, Indian and U.S. approaches toward Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems. 

During these visits, she spoke at the National Institute of Advanced Studies and the Takshashila Institution in Bengaluru, India; the Sejong Institute, the Korean Nuclear Policy Society, the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Korea National Defense University, Yonsei University, and Korea University in Seoul, South Korea; and the Hiroshima Prefectural Office, the National Security Secretariat, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Institute for Defense Studies, the Japan Institute of International Affairs, the University of Tokyo, Asia University, Keio University, and Hosei University in Hiroshima and Tokyo, Japan.

Dr. Lora SAALMAN, EWI Senior Fellow and SIPRI Associate Senior Fellow, and Honorable YUZAKI Hidehiko, Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture

Roundtable with Professor MOON Chung-in, Special Advisor to President MOON Jae-in of South Korea and Co-Convener of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

Experts from the Korean Nuclear Policy Society, Sejong Institute, Korea National Defense University, Embassy of Sweden in Seoul, Seoul National University, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, and SIPRI

Participants at the SIPRI report launch at the Swedish Residence in Seoul, South Korea

The Unsettled Question of Offense vs Defense in Cyberwarfare

Some of the most famous military advancements, such as trenches and machine guns, have favored defensive operations, but in the minds of both the public and many policymakers, there is the belief that cyber weapons are different in that they favor the offense. Cited for advancing this argument are the plethora of computer vulnerabilities, the low financial cost of hacking, and the lack of penalties for discovered attacks. While we have a few examples of genuine cyber warfare working effectively, most of our knowledge comes instead from using cyber tools for disruption, espionage and information warfare rather than the use of genuine cyber weapons, that is, cyber tools designed to create physical damage in support of military objectives. Presently, we are unable to say that cyber weapons have an inherent offense-defense balance because they are complex, skill dependent, and we are not sure how effective they will be in conjunction with military actions.

Much of this problem is related to the definition: the term cyberwar is frequently used with little thought applied to what it means. As a result, the use of cyber tools for espionage, propaganda, theft, and disruption are often erroneously labeled acts of cyberwar. Cyberwar, like its regular counterpart, requires material damage such as destroying assets, disabling weapons that rely on digital components, and disabling the critical infrastructures that power the machinery of war. It is these physical effects, and how they complement military actions, which determine whether a weapon is defensive or offensive in nature.

Click here to read the full article on RealClearDefense.

Dr. Saalman Speaks at 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum in Beijing

EWI Senior Fellow, Dr. Lora Saalman [司乐如], spoke on the impact of artificial intelligence on nuclear risk at the 16th PIIC Beijing Seminar on International Security and the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum held between October 15-22, 2019.

Her Chinese-language remarks were based upon a recently released report that she edited on the The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk, Volume II - East Asian Perspectives, which is part of a larger two-year project with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Chinese media coverage of her remarks and interviews during the events included the following:

Xiangshan Forum in Beijing Asks Whether Military AI Will Make War More Acceptable” – South China Morning Post

Improving Promotion of Lasting Peace and Universal Security in the Asia-Pacific Region” [更好促进亚太地区持久和平和普遍安全] – China Military Online [中国军网]

Lora Saalman: Hopes that China Can Provide Proposals for Global Governance in a Number of Fields” [司乐如:希望中国能够在多领域为全球治理提供方案] – China Military Network [中国军视网]

Xiangshan Forum: ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is Once Again Included in the Beijing Xiangshan Forum” [香山论坛:《人工智能》再次纳入北京香山论坛议题] – The Paper [澎湃新闻]

Perceptions of China Through a ‘Time Tunnel’” [在“时光隧道”中感知中国] – China Military Online [中国军网]

Chairman Xi’s Congratulatory Letter Sparked a Warm Response Among the Participants of the 9th Beijing Xiangshan Forum” [习主席贺信在第九届北京香山论坛与会人士中引发热烈反响] – PLA Daily [解放军报]

Global Cooperation in Cyberspace Progress Roundtable - Palo Alto 2019

The EastWest Institute hosted its annual Global Cooperation in Cyberspace Progress Roundtable, at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Palo Alto, California, on September 3-4.

This roundtable was the annual strategic review of the EastWest Institute’s (EWI) cyberspace program. Approximately 45 leaders of EWI's cyber cooperation breakthrough groups and core global network gathered in person to discuss the program’s progress, exchange views on current cyber policy developments and examine next steps to refine our collective undertaking to strengthen global cyberspace resilience and stability.

The two-day conference provided a platform for critical dialogue and assessment of six issue areas. Starting off with ICT supply chain security, the group discussed the drivers behind government actions against foreign ICT products and services in the name of national security. In this context, the hotly debated issue of technology nationalism embodies how cybersecurity and national security are increasingly intertwined with geopolitics, a tendency that has grown stronger since last year’s roundtable.

Participants also emphasized that the ability to enjoy the benefits of cyberspace also depends on establishing effective mechanisms for close private-public cooperation to ensure accountability in cyberspace, which was discussed in a panel on September 3, followed on by a session on September 4 which explored what role cyber norms play in fostering responsible behavior of state and non-state actors in cyberspace. EWI continues to actively support the development of norms of behavior in cyberspace through the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace, which is advocating for norms and policies to enhance international security and stability in and of the Internet. The event also included an in-depth examination of contested information, fake news and terrorist content on the Internet and the differing approaches that the Global North and the Global South are pursuing in an attempt to address these issues that increasingly distort information and prompt questions over free speech, digital ethics and regulation.

Additionally, updates were presented on EWI's ongoing work on smart city cybersecurity as well as cyber insurance and systemic risk, following the successful launches of the EWI’s guide Smart and Safe: Risk Reduction in Tomorrow’s Cities and the recent policy report Cyber Insurance and Systemic Market Risk and related events earlier this year.

This years’ roundtable also welcomed a delegation of scholars from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership’s Abe Fellows program, as well as a several former senior government officials and industry experts from India who provided insightful perspectives on current cyber and national security tensions in South and East Asia.

The Global Cooperation in Cyberspace Progress Roundtable is organized with support from, among others, Unisys, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Huawei Technologies, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, and Marsh & McLennan.

Image credit: Francesco Saviano

Cybersecurity Symposium for Smart Cities 2019

The EastWest Institute will co-organize the Cybersecurity Symposium for Smart Cities 2019, to be held on October 5 in Santa Clara, CA.

As part of EWI's involvement in Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the full-day event will help small to medium enterprises and local governments prepare for designing smart city platforms while ensuring security against cyber threats. Participants will include national and international experts in securing smart cities representing government, private, nonprofit and academic sectors. Additional lead organizations include the Global Cities Teams Challenge, Adaptable Security, Joint Venture Silicon Valley and the Silicon Valley Chinese Technology and Business Association.

The event will be hosted by the County of Santa Clara Government Center.

The event builds upon EWI's leadership efforts in the space, supporting its report: Smart and Safe Risk Reduction in Tomorrow’s Cities, published earlier this year. 

To learn more, visit the event page or register for free here.


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