Ten stumbling blocks which complicate the development and implementation of worldwide politically acceptable cyber confidence-building measures

Many malicious cyber activities may well be state-sponsored or state-driven. A common understanding of malicious cyber activities as worldwide threat to international peace and security has resulted in the ambition to develop politically-binding confidence-building measures for cyberspace. By establishing non legally-binding norms for responsible state behavior, cyber confidence-building measures (CCBM) aim to enhance predictability, security and stability. The development, acceptance and implementation of such measures may help prevent potential destabilisation. Despite various initiatives, to date, such measures have only materialised to a limited extent.
Ten stumbling blocks complicate reaching a global agreement. In theory, all necessary ingredients to mitigate the risk of cyber incidents into interstate armed conflict are within the power of states. In practice, the level of distrust and fundamental different values between states appear to be so high that agreement on even simple norms cannot be reached. Unless game-changing worldwide cyber-catastrophes occur, it is unlikely that worldwide acceptable, politically-binding CCBM will be created and implemented. Cyber confidence-building measures will appear to be illusory.

 

Keywords: Cyber Confidence-Building Measures (CCBM), state actors

 

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