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Information and telecommunications diplomacy in the context of international security at the United Nations

Information and telecommunications diplomacy in the context of international security at the... The development of technologies for the conduct of cyber operations represents an opportunity for states to defend their interests in international relations but also bears risks and challenges. Since the early 2000s, the United Nations “group of governmental experts (GGE) on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security” debates on this issue. This paper aims to investigate how states are challenged in the development of international cyber norms and where capacity to act is idle, i.e. to assess how much has been reached in the international community’s debate on cyber threats and malicious behaviors in the international security context and to identify directions to move GGE work further.Design/methodology/approachThe methodology uses an extensive text-based desk research and relies on a thorough collection, analysis and interpretation of the United Nations (UNs) documents. When specific substantial topics are addressed in the GGE, the content of the debate was confronted with issue-specific academic literature on those matters.FindingsThe results highlight that the GGE managed to gather consensus on a number of cooperation and normative measures in this politically highly sensitive topic and more deliverables are expected during this and next year. The paper identifies a weakness in terms of operational implementation though. The paper proposes a few examples of concrete headways that could complement existing consensus, especially on the implementation side.Originality/valueBecause of its political sensitivity, the GGE has worked with discretion and has attracted little academic attention. This paper is an original and timely attempt to assess the achievements and possible outlook of this endeavor of the international community, including the incipient work of a recently established open-ended working group. It also attempts to connect the subject matter discussed in the UN with related academic literature, including in respect of definitional and conceptual issues. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

Information and telecommunications diplomacy in the context of international security at the United Nations

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/tg-01-2020-0007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The development of technologies for the conduct of cyber operations represents an opportunity for states to defend their interests in international relations but also bears risks and challenges. Since the early 2000s, the United Nations “group of governmental experts (GGE) on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security” debates on this issue. This paper aims to investigate how states are challenged in the development of international cyber norms and where capacity to act is idle, i.e. to assess how much has been reached in the international community’s debate on cyber threats and malicious behaviors in the international security context and to identify directions to move GGE work further.Design/methodology/approachThe methodology uses an extensive text-based desk research and relies on a thorough collection, analysis and interpretation of the United Nations (UNs) documents. When specific substantial topics are addressed in the GGE, the content of the debate was confronted with issue-specific academic literature on those matters.FindingsThe results highlight that the GGE managed to gather consensus on a number of cooperation and normative measures in this politically highly sensitive topic and more deliverables are expected during this and next year. The paper identifies a weakness in terms of operational implementation though. The paper proposes a few examples of concrete headways that could complement existing consensus, especially on the implementation side.Originality/valueBecause of its political sensitivity, the GGE has worked with discretion and has attracted little academic attention. This paper is an original and timely attempt to assess the achievements and possible outlook of this endeavor of the international community, including the incipient work of a recently established open-ended working group. It also attempts to connect the subject matter discussed in the UN with related academic literature, including in respect of definitional and conceptual issues.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 28, 2020

Keywords: United Nations; Information security; Cyber diplomacy; Digital diplomacy; International security; Cyber law; Cyber-security; Information and communication technology (ICT)

References