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This is the executive summary of a working paper by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“As cyber insecurity has become a growing problem worldwide, states and other stakeholders have sought to increase stability for cyberspace. As a result, a new ecosystem of “cyber norm” processes has emerged in diverse fora and formats. Today, United Nations (UN) groups (for example, the Group of Governmental Experts [GGE] and the Open-Ended Working Group [OEWG]), expert commissions (for example, the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace), industry coalitions (for example, the Tech Accord, the Charter of Trust), and multistakeholder collectives (for example, the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace) all purport to identify or operationalize various normative standards of behavior for states and/or other stakeholders in cyberspace. As some of these processes wind down (for example, the Global Commission) and others wind up (for example, the OEWG), cyber norms are at a crossroads where each process’s potential (and problems) looms large.

On October 29, 2019, the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace convened a one-day workshop titled “Cyberspace and Geopolitics.”1 It brought together three dozen key stakeholders in the cyber norm discourse, including representatives of national governments, international organizations, nongovernmental entities, industry, and think tanks, alongside several chief information security officers and academics from international law and international relations. Participants assessed the various cyber norm processes both individually and collectively. This paper builds on the outcome of those discussions.2

The workshop’s key takeaway was an embrace of the existing fragmentation of the cyber norm ecosystem. Participants saw the variety of cyber norm efforts not as detrimental but rather as an opportunity to broaden the base of engaged stakeholders and to deepen understandings of normative expectations within relevant communities. At the same time, the workshop highlighted four weaknesses that constrain the effectiveness of these frameworks individually and collectively:

  • Inherent characteristics of the cyber domain, especially its low barriers to entry to develop and to use cyber capabilities, that create serious multistakeholder cooperation problems, as states, corporations, proxy actors, and others all would need to adhere to norms
  • A lack of transparency about state behavior, which creates an inability to measure norm adherence to differentiate “aspirational norms” from actual “norms” and, within the latter category, to assess the breadth and depth of conformance by relevant actors
  • A dearth of great power cooperation to address this global public policy challenge, especially as geopolitics moves from identifying norms to internalizing them within the relevant state and other stakeholder communities
  • A lack of clear incentives for internalizing norms—that is, articulating concrete benefits for adopting and internalizing one or more cyber norms or the costs that may follow a failure to do so

Four recommendations were given that can address these issues:

  1. Focused research on specific cyber norms to measure their alignment with actual behavior in cyberspace and identification of potential gaps between them and among existing accords.
  2. A shared global database of cyber processes that can improve transparency on what each process does, who participates, and how its work is received in other processes (that is, what sort of cross-pollination is occurring versus triggering competing or conflicting norm proposals). For example, Carnegie’s Cyber Norms Index already tracks existing multilateral and bilateral accords relating to cyber norms.
  3. Research efforts to identify a menu of incentives to promote norm adoption and implementation, including a list of potential consequences that can follow cases of nonconformance.
  4. More multistakeholder engagement with great powers on exercising their power responsibly to improve the identification and operation of cyber norms for states and other stakeholder groups (for example, industry, civil society).”

Report URL: https://carnegieendowment.org/files/Cyberspace_and_Geopolitics_Carnegie_v1_web.pdf (Links to an external site.)

Report Requirements:

  • The report must be between 1,300 to 1,500 words (excluding citations and including an abstract).
  • Critique one or more of the recommendations given, discuss why you think it is the right approach or not.
  • The report must include a complete bibliography and in-text citation in APA format.
  • A minimum of 5 references is required – You cannot use this main paper as a reference.
  • The paper should be based on the recommendations. Feel free to align the challenges to a specific industry/sector. (Couple of examples were given in the discussion: such as Elections, and State attacks)
  • You cannot copy and paste someone else opinion, research, etc. Your writing MUST be original. But you are allowed to leverage someone else’s work. (You must make it clear, it is someone’s work by given appropriate credit, and proper citation).
  • Quoting someone’s work (even when credit/proper citation is given) is not original writing. As such, this paper cannot have more than 10% meaning (130 – 150 words) as a direct quotation.
  • UPLOAD your submission to Turn it in.
    • I will take points off for any similarity index above 15%.
    • If the similarity is more than 60%. I will automatically grade the entire submission as ZERO.
    • To allow you to comply with the submission and Turn It In similarity index. Everyone can upload their paper to Turn It In multiple times until they are satisfied. However, delete your prior submissions, and ensure only your final version ready to be graded is available on Canvas.
    • You should upload your paper with its references and bibliography – If you did your referencing correct, Turn It In will not use it for similarity index. I have already disabled doing so.

writing a report