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From Cyber Offense to Cyber Arms Control: Developing Cybersecurity Norms

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Author: Jan Neutze

Increasingly, nation states use the internet to advance intelligence or even military operations: espionage, reconnaissance, and even sabotage. The targets of these operations, whether intentional or not, are often civilians. As the pace of activity in cyberspace increases, so does the likelihood of one state misinterpreting the actions of another. Moreover, the risk of a cyber-arms race cannot be discounted. It would be naïve to hope that states should fully pull back their military operations from the internet. Nevertheless, just as there are universally accepted norms of behavior in other realms of conflict, it is no less important to establish norms for cybersecurity. These norms should not only strengthen cybersecurity but also preserve the freedoms of a globally connected society. In an effort to encourage the international community to reverse the trend of militarizing cyberspace, a robust international debate has emerged discussing ways to reduce cybersecurity conflict by proposing a framework for cybersecurity norms. This discussion will focus on Microsoft’s approach to cybersecurity norms.

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Jan Neutze is Director of Cybersecurity Policy at Microsoft responsible for cybersecurity policy matters in Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Jan Neutze Jan Neutze

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