Brussels witnessed another Worldwide Security Conference organized by the East West Institute (EWI). The 7th Worldwide Security Conference (7WSC) was different from the previous year’s conference by having different tracks for each day and an additional day on February 18, dedicated to cybersecurity.
EWI organized a cybersecurity initiative at the 6th Worldwide Security Conference in 2009 by having a workshop about cybersecurity and later on by the efforts of John Morz, the president of EWI, and Karl Rauscher from Bell Lab it became an official project under the direction of Vartan Sarkissian. In October 2009, EWI in cooperation with the IEEE Communication Society and with the support of its former president, Dr. Curtis Siller, organized The Reliability of Global Undersea Communications Cable Infrastructure (ROGUCCI) Global Summit in Dubai, to remind us of the importance of undersea cables and their vulnerabilities.
International Pathways to Cybersecurity day on February 18 was, from my point of view, a great step after ROGUCCI to take the EWI cybersecurity initiative to another level. Nevertheless this event could have been better by having more participants from industry rather than politicians. However, the presence of politicians could be useful to have a dialog at the international level and between governments. However, as long as we do not have a clear pathway to address the technical issues and prioritize them, the presence of the politicians may mean that the EWI ends up with hundreds of meetings and recommendations without any action.
Cyberspace security is an important issue to everyone including governments. The cyberspace of a country might be considered to be a territory of that country or its critical infrastructure. Although, the Internet has no border there are many possibilities to draw a line and define borders by routing protocols and filtering. This is the tough part of the cyberspace security issue because it needs to be addressed by governments for both domestic and international usage. This makes the job of the EWI cybersecurity initiative more difficult, because governments do not like to give much information about their policies and do not like to listen to others if they have a problem with liberty in the information age. In addition, there are many governments without any laws and regulations for cyberspace to address their needs. From my point of view it will be impossible for them to cooperate internationally with other countries if they have no clear pathway for their own cyberspace.
Nevertheless, the efforts of the EWI and the participants should be continued to create a very secure and reliable cyberspace without compromising information liberty.