The Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace (GCSC) hosted a meeting in Las Vegas on July 27 which coincided with both the 20th edition of Black Hat USA and the 25th edition of DEF CON. The Commission was well represented with GCSC Co-Chair Michael Chertoff, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, delivering the opening keynote address at the Black Hat CISO Summit, and Chair Marina Kaljurand, former Foreign Minister of Estonia, and several Commissioners participating in a policy briefing on “Challenges of Cooperating Across Cyberspace” at the conference. Sean Kanuck, Chair of the GCSC Research Advisory Group, and Alexander Klimburg, Director of the GCSC Initiative, also discussed “Hacking Democracy” at DEF CON.
“The second GCSC meeting proved to be extremely productive on several levels,” commented Marina Kaljurand, Chair of the GCSC. “Our representatives had the opportunity to engage on a range of topics and discussion formats at both Black Hat and DEF CON—and we sincerely thank both organizations for including the GCSC as part of its program. The Commission also took the occasion to hold a closed meeting to further advance its agenda in the context of current developments in global cybersecurity.”
The one-day meeting began with a discussion on the recently concluded round of the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (GGE), and the lack of a consensus report. The Commissioners discussed the future of the UN process and sought to gain a better understanding of what the post-GGE process could look like, and how other relevant stakeholders could be involved. The GCSC Commissioners will further explore possible post-GGE processes, including with governments and other organizations that seek to advance the development of norms of responsible State behavior.
The Commissioners outlined the next operational steps for the prioritized topics from the First Full Commission Meeting in Tallinn this last June, with the overall aim to gain a better understanding of the Public Core of the Internet, Critical Information Infrastructures and ICT-aspects of non-Internet Critical Infrastructures, as well as the means of protecting each. This included generating a comprehensive list of the required systems, through surveys of experts. Also, research will be conducted in cooperation with experts and institutions from the Research Advisory Group, resulting from the Request for Proposals.
“Any norm on the public core of the Internet should reflect both the technology and the realities of international relations. We have to view cyberspace in its political context,” added James Lewis, Senior Vice President of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The Commission will continue to work on defining what constitutes the core of the Internet and creating a norm on how states should protect it.”
In addition to its prioritized topics, the Commissioners also touched upon other issues, including election infrastructures, the impact of new technological developments such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence on cyberstability, improving the ability of international peace and security processes to engage on matters pertaining to cybersecurity, limiting offensive cyber operations, and refining the legal concept of “effective control” as applied to cyberspace.
The GCSC will convene a larger-scale Commission Meeting on November 20-21 on the margins of the next Global Conference on CyberSpace (GCCS) in New Delhi. In the run-up to this meeting, the GCSC welcomes input from other processes, organizations and institutions that are concerned with norms of responsible behavior and international cyberstability. The GCSC Secretariat will also disseminate surveys to support its research and deliberations.
The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, the EastWest Institute, the Chairs and Commissioners would like to thank Black Hat and Commissioner Jeff Moss for hosting the GCSC in Las Vegas, as well as the GCSC partners, the governments of The Netherlands, Singapore and France, Microsoft, ISOC, and the other funders for their support.