The World Federation of Scientists (WFS), founded in Erice (Sicily) in 1973, is a free association which has grown to include more than 10,000 scientists drawn from 110 countries. The Federation promotes international collaboration in science and technology between scientists and researchers. One of its principal aims is to mitigate planetary emergencies. The creation of the World Federation of Scientists was made possible by the existence, in Erice, of a centre for scientific culture named after the physicist Ettore Majorana, the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture. This Centre, which has been dubbed "The University of the Third Millennium", has attracted over 90,000 scientists from all over the world since its founding in 1963. The World Federation of Scientists rapidly identified 15 classes of Planetary Emergencies and began to organise the fight against these threats. One of its main achievements was the drawing up of the Erice Statement, in 1982, by Paul Dirac, Piotr Kapitza and Antonino Zichichi, clearly setting out the ideals of the Federation and putting forward a set of proposals for putting these ideals into practice. A milestone was the holding of a series of International Seminars on Nuclear War, beginning in 1981, which have had a tremendous impact on reducing the danger of a planet-wide nuclear disaster, ultimately contributing to the end of the Cold War.
In 1986, through the action of a group of eminent scientists (most of whom were members of the WFS) the International Centre for Scientific Culture ICSC-World Laboratory was founded in Geneva to help achieve the goals outlined in the Erice Statement. To achieve these, specific pilot projects in most fields of science have been implemented, to help overcome the Planetary Emergencies. Today, the WFS has focused on Terrorism, as part of its Cultural Planetary Emergency, and has held special plenary sessions and dedicated seminars at the Ettore Majorana International Centre for Scientific Culture, to address this growing threat.
The Chairman of the World Federation of Scientists is Professor Antonino Zichichi; its Secretary General, Dr. Claude Manoli, both to be reached at the Federation’s headquarters at CERN, Building #29, 1211 Geneva 23, Switzerland.
The Permanent Monitoring Panel on Information Security (Info Security PMP) was established within the The World Federation of Scientists’ (WFS) in 2001 and has been engaged in identifying the threats emanating in and from cyberspace. This work is undertaken in the framework of the International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, a series of conferences with broad international, multidisciplinary participation. Information about WFS is at http://www.federationofscientists.org/.
The PMP has been examining the role of cyber security through multidisciplinary inputs and a comprehensive review of information and communication technology (ICT). Special emphasis is given to cyber security issues in developing countries and to the importance of bridging the Digital Divide. Global connectivity is affording developing countries a more competitive environment for attracting foreign direct investment, outsourcing opportunities, higher-skilled jobs, and improved intellectual capital.
The underlying premise of the WFS Info Security PMP is to help ensure that the full benefits of the Information Age accrue to all users of ICTs and that these benefits are not undercut by negative uses of these technologies. In the view of the PMP, it is important to safeguard information, applications, and networks against cyber attacks: malware, economic espionage, and other forms of cybercrime, and cyber conflict, including cyber warfare and cyber terrorism. To this end, the PMP, based on its analyses, has been issuing recommendations to Governments and digital stakeholders.
Too often cyber security is viewed as a follow-on issue versus one that drives the deployment of ICTs. This paradigm is changing as the need for effective global harmonization and cooperation in countering, investigating, and prosecuting cyber criminal activities, including cyberwar and cyber terrorism, and the increased attention to data protection and cyber resilience become everr more apparent, commensurate with ernormous quantitative and qualitative growth of the cyber phenomenon
It is increasingly clear that a culture of cyber security that instills confidence in the global marketplace will enhance the local deployment of ICTs, attract opportunities for FDI and outsourcing operations, and advance the progression of developing countries.
Terms of reference of the PMP
As all Permanent Monitoring Panels are called upon to define their work priorities, the PMP on Information Security has drafted its subsequent TERMS of REFERENCE within the mission outlined above.
Commensurate with the dynamic developments in the field of cybersecurity they remain subject to a permanent process of updating and revision. The unceasing exponential growth of digital technologies and their increasing sophistication bring along novel security challenges that call for ever increasing vigilance. The interdependencies and interconnectivities in the cyber realm also make these security challenges interdependent: thus one cannot arbitrarily exclude any of them from consideration.
However, a clear focus of security analysis is needed. In a hierarchy of pursuits, the PMP will therefore concentrate on issues of cyber conflict. In that process, the group will develop further its concepts of cyber stability and cyber peace on which its work has been predicated in past years. The priority focus will be on the growing potential for intense cyber conflict perpetrated by state actors or their proxies and the growing unbridled and ungoverned militarization of cyberspace, including the strategic threat to critical infrastructures. Among the primary aspects the group will explore, are strategies of cyber defense, conflict-relevant network resilience and cyber prophylactics.
Important subsidiary but clearly related priority areas will be the balance and the required regulatory frameworks for the freedom vs. security dilemma (including the human rights and Internet freedom aspects, strategies of data protection, and especially the international and national management of big data) as essential ingredients of cyber stability. The PMP will accompany, and contribute to, the current international moves towards international norm-setting for peaceful behavior in cyberspace, via confidence-building measures and codes of conduct. It will also offer critical comments on the adaption of international law to the cyber age.