News | December 03, 2014

EWI’s Cyber Summit Begins in Berlin

The EastWest Institute’s Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit V opened to a packed room at the German Foreign Office Conference Center in Berlin with approximately 300 participants from 47 countries. 

Dr. Thomas de Maizière, federal minister of the interior of Germany, welcomed all attendants and stressed the importance of a shared Internet, where freedom, trust and security can thrive side by side. The summit was co-hosted by the German Foreign Office.

Maiziere spoke optimistically about the potential for a safe and secure Internet, similar to the rules and regulations, which apply in the non-digital world. “The Internet cannot be viewed as a separate entity. The same laws must apply in both the analog and digital world.”

He stressed that both governments and individuals must take responsibility for Internet safety, using bicycle security as a metaphor. “If an individual locks their bicycle, there’s a greater chance of it not being stolen. And the lock works in tandem with the patrolling police officer.”

He added that, “Trust is the new currency of the Internet, but the price hasn’t been set yet. All of us globally must work toward that, and this is why we are here.”

Ambassador Dr. Norbert Riedel, commissioner for International Cyber Policy, reminded participants that, “EWI continues to build on the successes of the four previous summits, and that through these convenings  governments, the private sector and civil society are moving closer to solutions.  

Bruce McConnell, EWI’s senior vice president and manager of the Cooperation in Cyberspace Program, which includes its Worldwide Cybersecurity Initiative, invited all attendees to continue their progress in the seven Breakthrough Groups.

“We are here to work toward making the Internet a vehicle for a safer, more peaceful, more secure, more open world, where the creative, human spirit can thrive. We are not there yet, as there are many challenges.” McConnell stressed that the real work can be seen in the Breakthrough Groups, which will continue over the next two days and will end with further recommendations for the months and years ahead.

The Breakthrough Groups are: “Exploring Surveillance, Privacy and Big Data,” “Strengthening Critical Infrastructure Resilience and Preparedness,” “Governing and Managing the Internet,” “Increasing the Global Availability of Secure ICT Products and Services,” “Modernizing International Procedures Against Cyber-Enabled Crimes,” “Promoting Measures of Restraint in Cyber Armaments” and  “Managing Policy Barriers that Limit Access to Information for Innovation and Education.”

Follow us on Twitter at #cybersummit2014.

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Click here to read de Maizière's full keynote address.