News | December 04, 2014

State Secretary Markus Ederer Calls “Rules of the Road” Essential to Cybersecurity

EWI’s Fifth Cybersecurity Summit Holds Key Dialogues and Discussions on Day 2

Dr. Markus Ederer, state secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, opened the second day of the EastWest Institute’s Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit V, held at the German Foreign Office Conference Center in Berlin.

Ederer stressed that “Rules of the Road” for cybersecurity must be developed and implemented so that the greatest number of opportunities can flourish, trust can be built and challenges can be met.

Likening the necessity of the Rules of the Road to traffic rules, Ederer pointed to the agreement of countries to drive on either the right or left side of the road. “If only a tiny portion of the population disobeys this, a great deal of harm can be inflicted, and this is compounded exponentially on the Internet.”

He added, “In order for us to live in a truly global village, we must agree on laws and regulations that keep all of us safe and protect all of our critical infrastructures.” Ederer asked that all participants work toward this goal, keeping in mind the delicate and difficult balance between freedom and security.

Following Ederer’s remarks, global cyber experts from both the private and public sector participated in several key plenary sessions. EWI’s Senior Vice President Bruce McConnell chaired the first panel, “Overview of International Cyberspace Cooperation.”

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Coordinator for Cyber Affairs Fu Cong stressed China’s commitment to international cooperation in cyberspace. “China is committed to working together for cyberspace security.”

Fu stressed that some global cooperation already exists in the areas of Emergency Response and Law Enforcement, and that there are great opportunities for further cooperation in the areas of norm setting, cyber terrorism and capacity building.

Undersecretary, Legal Adviser, Cyber Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Marina Kaljurand emphasized the fact that, “Cybercrime laws are useless if they are not internationally enforced.” The panel recognized Estonia as a leader in spreading cybersecurity awareness.

In that same panel, John Suffolk, senior vice president and global cyber security officer, at Huawei Technologies said, “Small steps can have a large impact in cyberspace, and so we must be bold and take action in this critical time.”

In the second plenary panel, “Exploring Surveillance, Privacy and Big Data,” a lively and honest discussion ensued regarding transatlantic friction over the use of government surveillance and the use of personal data.

Speaking of different levels of government scrutiny over intelligence services, Baroness Neville-Jones, UK’s former minister of Security and Counterterrorism, said, “You in Germany can put higher restrictions on your security services, but it will lower your level of security. And then you will rely on your allies to do the things that you don’t want to do yourselves.” Baroness Neville-Jones added that, “So we shouldn’t call each other names.”

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For Ederer's full remarks, click here