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A person reads a news report about Facebook, which shut down fake news sites before elections A person reads a news report about Facebook, which shut down a number of fake news sites that were spreading disinformation ahead of national elections, on his mobile phone, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 20, 2018 (AP photo).

Can New Norms of Behavior Extend the Rules-Based Order Into Cyberspace?

Monday, Dec. 2, 2019

Over the past quarter century, the internet has transformed human existence, dramatically altering everything from daily life, societal interactions and economic exchange, to political debates and geopolitical rivalries. In 1996, only 36 million people were online. Today, 3.7 billion are, and the remaining half of humanity will soon join them in the connected world. Although the benefits of cyberspace are undeniable, malicious state and criminal actors often use it to further their nefarious ends, while at times endangering its digital infrastructure. Hoping to protect this vulnerable domain, the Global Commission on the Stability of Cyberspace recently issued its final report, “Advancing Cyberstability.”

The commission, co-chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and former Indian Deputy National Security Adviser Latha Reddy, toiled for three years, consulting globally with governments, international organizations, private corporations, technical experts and members of civil society. According to Foreign Minister Stef Blok of the Netherlands, which helped underwrite the commission’s work, one overriding conviction animated its efforts: “Cyberspace cannot be an ungoverned space where bad guys can do what they want,” he said in issuing the report at last month’s Paris Peace Forum. “The rules-based order and international law must extend into cyberspace.” ...

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