Global Cooperation in Cyberspace Progress Roundtable - Palo Alto 2019

News | September 18, 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