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2017 YEAR IN REVIEW : CYBER GEOPOLITICS

CYBER GEOPOLITICS 2017: CALL FOR MORE SECURITY IN CYBERSPACE; INTERFERENCE IN ELECTIONS AND FIGHT FOR EXTREMIST CONTENTS REMOVAL

2017, the Internet was at the center of geopolitics with unprecedented impact on international relations. In fact, security and the search for norms in cyberspace, fight against extremist contents and electronic surveillance have been on the agenda of many international meetings. Net giants enter cyber diplomacy for the first time and send delegations to meetings like G7 summit. Moreover, the phenomenon of digital interference appears in elections process with presumed social media influence.

CYBER DIPLOMACY: SECURITY OF CYBERSPACE AT THE TOP OF AGENDAS

In the United States, 2017 begins with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with India in the field of cybersecurity. At geopolitical level, the United States rejects the idea of ​​an US-Russian cyber unit, warns about the North Korean cyberattacks and asks China not to implement its new law on cybersecurity.
In Europe, European Union defense ministers carries out exercises to test the bloc's ability to respond to a potential attack on its military structures.
Moreover, the European Union and India stress the need to deepen actions on the applicability of international law in cyberspace.
Regarding NATO, defense ministers agree on a set of principles describing how the Alliance can integrate cyber capabilities of its member states into military operations.
Besides, the Organization announces the creation of a new Cyber ​​Operations Center.
In addition;
India and Japan decide to strengthen their collaboration in cyberspace and confirm commitment to an open, safe and accessible cyberspace for economic growth and Innovation
The BRICS countries announce the intensification of information security cooperation stating that digital communication technologies are playing an increasingly important role in economic growth.
The African Union and China seek to deepen collaboration on the development of information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly in building a secure, open and peaceful cyberspace
In China, the government publishes its strategy on international cooperation in cyberspace.
The strategy sets out peace and sovereignty as one of the fundamental principles guiding China's participation in international cooperation. At the Wuzhen conference, the Chinese president said that the country would not close its door to the global Internet, but that cyber-sovereignty is the key to its vision of the development of the Internet.

  

FOR THE FIRST TIME, NET GIANTS AT THE TABLE OF DISCUSSIONS ON THE FUTURE OF CYBERSPACE

Regarding Internet giants, the Whuzen conference was attended by Apple's General Manager, and Google's, a first for Silicon Valley companies to send such representation. Furthemore, Internet companies attended the G7 summit in an attempt to develop new rules to stop the use of social media by cyber-extremists. In addition, at the RSA conference, Microsoft for the first time calls for the establishment of a Geneva Convention on Cyberspace and calls on governments to set standards for the commitment to secure cyberspace. In addition, Denmark appointed an ambassador to Silicon Valley technology giants. The Global Internet Forum for Combating Terrorism (GIFCT) set up by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube held its first meeting on August 1 in San Francisco.

ELECTIONS: DEBATE ON INGERENCE AND INTERFERENCE UNDER SOCIAL MEDIA’S INFLUENCE

 In the aftermath of the 2016 US presidential elections, the US Senate promises a thorough investigation into the direct links between Russia and Republican Donald Trump during his race for the White House and warns that Russia would concoct the same plan for the French elections.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denies Russia's involvement in the likely piracy of the US presidential election and claims that the Obama administration ignored its proposal in 2015 on a cyberwar treaty.
In addition Facebook claims to have sent to the US Congress tens of thousands of social network announcements that were linked to Russia's attempts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.

On BREXIT, British lawmakers ask Facebook to publish information on the likely Russian allegations relating to the BREXIT vote. In fact, according to several sources, Russian Twitter accounts were hyperactive on the eve of the UK BREXIT referendum, urging citizens to vote to leave the EU.

EXTREMIST CONTENTS: THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ASK SOCIAL MEDIA TO REMOVE EXTREMIST CONTENT ONLINE

London's terrorist attacks trigger a series of warnings against Internet Giants for removal of extremist content online.
At the United Nations, France, Italy and the United Kingdom urge social media companies to remove more quickly the extremist content of the Internet. The UN Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution calling on all countries to cooperate to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons, including via the internet or social medias.

At state level, Germany adopts a new law that expands the power of the authorities to spy on encrypted e-mail services such as WhatsApp and Skype as Facebook launches an initiative in the UK to train and fund local organizations to combat extremism and hate speech. In Russia, Vladimir Putin says law enforcement authorities must crack down on people and groups who use the Internet for extremist purposes

SURVEILLANCE, CENSORSHIP AND ENCRYPTION ALWAYS ON!

 On surveillance, the US National Security Agency (NSA) says it will stop its surveillance program that collects e-mails and messages sent by Americans to people under surveillance.
Regarding censorship, Chinese regulators have unveiled new controls limiting access to foreign sites. In the same vein, China is launching enhanced Internet control to prevent users from bypassing the country's "Great Firewall".
On encryption, the FBI's failure to unlock the Texas Church shooter's mobile phone reopens the debate over encryption and government access to secure communications

 

Mamadou LO
IGF MAG MEMBER

ICANN FELLOW COACH

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