On April 10, 2012, Georgetown University’s Institute for Law, Science, and Global Security and the Atlantic Council co-hosted “International Engagement in Cyberspace 2012: Establishing International Norms & Improved Cyber Security,” the second annual day-long conference to promote a dialogue between policymakers, key industry stakeholders, and academics regarding the issues, problems, and opportunities in the global commons that is cyberspace.

Keynote speakers included the Hon. William J. Lynn III, former deputy secretary of the US Department of Defense; and the Hon. Jane Holl Lute, deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.

In recent years, efforts to combat threats posed in cyberspace have been made globally. These include international forums like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Organization of American States, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Meridian collaboration on Critical Infrastructure, the International Watch and Warning Network and through bilateral efforts between governments. In 2004 the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime went into force as states recognized the need to develop international norms to fight cybercrime. Internet governance and security issues also remain interwoven with active dialogue among groups such as the Internet Governance Forum, the Internet Engineering Task Force, ICANN, and the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security. In May 2011, the U.S. issued an International Strategy for Cyberspace, stating its commitment to “build and sustain an environment in which norms of responsible behavior guide states’ actions, sustain partnerships, and support the rule of law in cyberspace.”

Irrefutably states are developing instruments of cyber warfare for military, intelligence, and political purposes. Corporations are finding themselves responsible for their own protection, as well as frequently responsible for incident response efforts that often include international action. While much of the debate thus far has centered on technological challenges to securing cyberspace, new thinking is needed on how to address issues such as the protection of private information, the establishment of common understandings regarding acceptable state behavior, the role of non-state actors and the interdependency of economics, and security in this domain.

The 2012 conference included the following panels:

Panel One:  National Security and Diplomatic Efforts (Panel Chair: Christopher Painter, Coordinator for Cyber Issues, US Department of State)

Panel Two: Law Enforcement Efforts Across National Borders (Panel Chair: Mr. Shawn Henry, Executive Assistant Director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, FBI (retired)

Panel Three: Commercial Perspectives (Panel Chair: Mr. Eddie Schwartz, Chief Information Security Officer, RSA)

Panel Four: International Collaborative Responses to Cyber Incidences (Panel Chair: General Michael Hayden (Ret.), Principal, Chertoff Group, Former Director of NSA and CIA)

This year’s conference continues the successes of the 2011 conference on international engagement in cyberspace.

The Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative focuses on finding international consensus among like-minded nations on the challenges in cyber security. The initiative aims to provide thought leadership on how to integrate cyber as an element of national power for the purpose of international cooperation. The initiative will also help define how cyber can and should become a tool of international statecraft. The Cyber Statecraft Initiative serves as an international platform for deliberations among stakeholders, including the U.S. government; governments of friends, allies, and partners; corporations; and non-governmental organizations.