Permanent Monitoring Panel on Information Security

Session 11, August 22

“The Future of Cyber Security”



The starting point for our deliberations was an analysis of the breathtaking progress of digital technology over the last year. The presentations in yesterday’s Plenar testify to these developments. When, with few others, I helped found the PMP in 2001, as a trailblazer in the pluridisciplinary study of cyber technology and cyber security in an international NGO setting, we surveyed the field and decided to concentrate on two major fields: the normative order of cyberspace, and the dangers of cyber conflict and their mitigation. The dimension of our written work can be gathered in the publications list on our web page, However, frankly speaking, much of this work is now dated. The relentless speed of technological developments and the changing international scene require more than an update, they require a totally new analysis, a truly “permanent monitoring”. Cyber has become all-pervasive, entering all sectors of human life via limitless connectivities, changing behavior and values. It has led to an historically unique empowerment of individuals and society. Its unprecedented complexities create an immense new challenge of mastering and control, but also require new global approaches and corresponding rules and ethics. Yesterday’s presentations in Plenary, especially those of Professor Lehmann and Alexander Ntoko, again have provided a telling summary of these needs.

The work programme
The work of the PMP must cope with these momentous evolutions,. We will organize it under the subsequent headings which continue our commitment to the themes outlined in our first response to Professor Zichichi’s New Manhatan Project three years ago.
1. The Cyber World of 2030
We will follow, analyse and evaluate the development of cyber technology and cyber security, covering also their societal implications and new risks. Our work will continue to cover the political, social and legal implications of what we observe in the technical domain.
2. The normative process
Helping to develop a legal order in cyberspace remains a prime objective of our group. The focus of normative endeavors has shifted world-wide. As an all-encompassing global legislation, as predictable, has not been feasible, it is important to be aware, and to help shape the multiple normative efforts taking place on the regional, national and societal levels. If the current incremental process rather merits characterization as one of fragmentation, there are positive common elements that promote larger international consensus on the evolution of codes of conduct, of responsible behavior in cyberspace.
3. Promoting Resilience
Technical resilience against cyber attacks needs additional efforts, and the experience of PMP members in this field is considerable and should be used. This would also imply close collaboration with the PMP on Catastrophic Events and their Mitigation.
4. Working with other organizations
Mutual exchange with other organizations in the field, and contribution to their work, as e.g. ICT4Peace, could be fruitful. The PMP will also examine the possibility of providing inputs to larger international events, as the UN Open Ended Working Group on ICT and International Security, or the Internet Governance Forum. The former fruitful collaborations with the ITU should be resumed.
5. Enlarging the Membership
The PMP has recently lost several excellent members, through natural causes, or career changes preventing these members to continue their commitment. It is now in danger of losing its pluridisciplinary expertise and geographical balance. There is room for recruiting some additional members, both full and associate, with attractive credentials. As you have seen from the list of speakers yesterday, we are off to a promising start in this endeavor.