About TheCyberDiplomat

TheCyberDiplomat is an initiative by Cyber Peace Foundation to present good quality research and analysis on Cyber issues around the globe. The vision for this initiative is “Diplomacy for Cyberpeace”. In the world where cyberwar is common, we wish to make cyber peace through cyber diplomacy.

Cyber Peace Foundation in collaboration with the Ostrom Workshop had designed CyberPeace alliances for information sharing and a move towards a safer cyberspace. This was done three years ago. However, now this alliance formation has become a need and seems to favour everyone who is a part of this. This initiative is for all stakeholders who want to be a part of a safer and peaceful cyberspace.

The Cyber Challenge

In International Relations, Cyberspace has become a significant focus. Cyber-espionage, cyberattack, hacktivism, internet censorship, and other technical issues get mentioned as national security issues, or in the news of diplomatic tension between nations. Some of the examples of this include the cybersecurity deal between the United States and China in 2015, where both sides accused each other of network infiltration and of stealing confidential information from companies and government agencies. There were also national security concerns of cyberspace. Therefore, cyberspace has become a contested political space, shaped by diverging interests, norms, and values. Due to this politicization of cyberspace, diplomats have a crucial role to play in analyzing and mediating these issues.

Due to high levels of cross border connectivity in the cyber world, a new approach for cybersecurity must factor in the International dimension. Thus, instead of exclusively focusing on cyber defense or cyberwar, it is essential to begin to develop ‘cyber diplomacy’

What is cyber diplomacy?

Cyber diplomacy is said to be an evolution of public diplomacy, also called public diplomacy 2.0. The development of the cyber-diplomacy is a response to the shift in international relations. Cyber diplomacy can be defined as an attempt to facilitate communication, negotiate agreements, gather intelligence and information from other countries to avoid friction in cyberspace, bearing in mind the foreign policy agenda. It is also seen as an attempt to use diplomatic resources and functions to secure national interests concerning cyberspace. Generally, a national cyberspace or cybersecurity strategy offers insight on the foreign agenda. It also includes cybersecurity, cybercrime, confidence-building, international freedom, and internet governance.

What is the difference between cyber diplomacy, e-diplomacy, or digital diplomacy?

In many articles, cyber-diplomacy is considered to be same as e-diplomacy or digital diplomacy. However, these concepts differ from each other. While cyber-diplomacy involves managing foreign policy in today’s age, e-diplomacy or digital diplomacy reflects on the impact of new technology on the objective, tools, and structure of diplomacy. Digital diplomacy or e-diplomacy is the study of the use of ICT tools and method for diplomacy and foreign affairs. However, cyberdiplomacy involves diplomacy, conflict resolution, agreements and policies that is surrounding cyberspace.

Our Mission:

In the world where cyberwar is common, we wish to make cyber peace through cyber diplomacy. It will be done by providing quality expert analysis of all cybersecurity issues of International Relation concern.

We present insights that can help bureaucrats, businesses, and individuals know the cyber-issues. This will help them make better and more informed decisions as a result.

Current Status

Currently, there are many cybersecurity policy and alliances in the world. All of these are made with different objectives. While the Tallinn Manual and the NATO group of countries have their own alliance and policies advocating liberalisation of cyberspace, countries in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation advocate National Cyber Sovereignty. There are also many trade-wars facilitated by the national ICT regulations being fought in International Forums like WTO, WCO and WIPO.

Cyber Policies and International Activities

In a highly vulnerable world of cyberthreats, cyber policies are needed, as it defines the who, what, and why regarding the desired behavior and deter a tragedy from happening. They play an essential role in an organization’s overall security posture. The goal when writing an information security policy is to provide relevant direction and value to the individuals within the organization, institute, or nation at large.

The cyber policy is the statement of responsible decision-makers and authority about the protection mechanism of crucial physical and information assets in cyberspace. Overall, it is a memorandum that describes the rules of the game in cyberspace. The cyber policy specifies sets of intentions and conditions that will aid to protect assets along with its proficiency to govern ICT framework.

Action: GDPR, WeProtect, Budapest, ISO27002, WeProtect, Budapest Convention, Securing Cyberspace, Local Policies, GDPR, China Cyber Security Laws, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Tallinn Manual, Wassenaar Agreement, IGF, ITU, UNGGE, WTO, WCO, CCDCOE, WIPO, UNODC, UNICRI, UNCTAD, UN Digi Cooperation, Think Tanks, NATO, ASEAN, SWIFT, INTERPOL, EUROPOL

Going beyond government participation in diplomacy

“If globalisation means that all companies are international, digital ecosystem in which we live means that all companies are tech companies.”

Companies increasingly participate in international relations as important non-state actors. To some extent this has always been the case for the major multinational companies. Not only both the Dutch and the British East India Company act as sovereign entities in the seventeenth century, but more recently major oil companies have in effect created their own internal foreign ministries and pursued their own foreign policies, often separately from their national governments. But the process of globalisation, with the ever greater global interconnectedness it brings, especially in terms of information and trade flows, has meant that ever smaller companies are now international.

Even companies that do not think themselves international are dependent on global supply chains that leave them vulnerable to foreign events, meaning that companies have a greater interest both in the impact of international affairs on their operations and, where possible, in finding ways of shaping that impact. Cyberspace and the development of the Internet of Things reinforces this need for companies to focus on non-commercial factors and how they shape the international business environment in which they are operating.

Companies are subject to all hazards, such as, cyberwar, cyberespionage, cyberterrorism and cyber information war. Governments attack the companies of foreign enemies for a variety of reasons. In warfare, foreign companies are being targeted by bombing to undermine the enemy’s economic performance. Governments spy on foreign companies especially if those companies are major suppliers to the enemy’s defence sector. Foreign companies, in particular their overseas office, will be attacked by terrorists, who may seek to portray them as symbols of imperialist oppression.

Companies can even be caught up in information warfare, where misinformation is spread about their overseas or domestic activities in order to undermine the reputation or economic stability of their country. All of these translate into cyberspace.

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