News | September 17, 2013

Russia-U.S. Brussels Meeting on Cyber Terminology

The EastWest Institute and the Institute for Information Security Issues (IISI) of Moscow State University hosted an off-the-record bilateral meeting between Russian and U.S. cyber experts on creating a universal list of cyber terms. “Critical Terminology Foundations” took place at EWI’s Brussels Center on September 13-14 and builds on the work of past bilateral meetings between these key participants. The results of this latest meeting will be discussed at EWI’s November Summit in Silicon Valley.

As Valery Yaschenko, senior vice-director of Moscow University Lomonosov’s Security Institute, put it, “We are aiming to create a glossary of 40 essential terms. In the first stage of this process, we tackled terms containing the word cyber—cyberspace, cyber infrastructure and cyber attack. We created an initial list of 20 terms, and this mini-glossary is already in use around the world. Now we’ve decided to continue our work focusing on specific terms, such as information security, information aggression and information superiority.”

Yaschenko explained further, “We want to provide future negotiators with a clear and concise ‘dictionary’ to further global cooperation in cyberspace. That is why we want to extend our work to Chinese, French and other languages. It is important to say that our goal is to avoid technical and scientific arguments and offer clear and useful ‘political’ definitions.”

EWI’s Karl Rauscher, distinguished fellow and chief technology officer, added, “This time around, in addition to definitions of terms, we want to introduce several recommendations on how these definitions should be used. We want to offer practical ways in which this important work can improve bilateral and multilateral cooperation and overall political discourse on cyberspace.”

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