Rule of law in cyberspace as a means and way to cybersecurity

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Information about Rule of law in cyberspace as a means and way to cybersecurity
News & Politics

Published on March 2, 2014

Author: fotiszygoulis1


A. Elaborate on the idea of the Rule of Law in Cyberspace as a means and way to cyber security. Describe and assess what the Rule of Law, based on human rights norms and standards, means offline and whether that can be transferred online. The Rule of Law means that the government in all its actions is bound by the rules fixed and announced beforehand (F. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom). Conformity to the rule of law means that the human dignity is being respected. The point is the answer to the following question: Does cyber space respects (and how) human dignity? Cyber security means the collection of tools, policies, security concepts, security safeguards, guidelines, training, best practices, assurance and technologies that can be used to protect the cyber environment and organization and user’ s assets. (ITU, Definition of Cyber security, ITV-TX.1205). The general security objectives contain the entities of Integrity, Availability and Confidentiality. The basic pillar of democracy is the inviolable integrity of the individual. Human integrity extends beyond the physical body. In their thoughts and in their personal environments and communications all humans have the right to remain unobserved. (www. the guardian. com/world/2013/dec/10/international-bill-digital-rights-petition-text) State or enterprise surveillance through cyber space is violating the private sphere of the humans. Furthermore, surveillance is being used to predict and form our behavior while it is violating the human right of self-definition and self-expression. The right of liberty for each human is contained in a synthesis of democratic rights that has been formed the last two centuries after the struggle of the European Enligthment. To maintain their validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in the real, physical sphere. The regulation of cyber space addresses themes such the significance and legitimacy of physical, geographically defined, borders and territorial sovereignty (the Failure of the Rule of Law in Cyber space, H. Brian Holland, 2005). There are two questions to answer: A) what are the borders of internet? B) What is the role of a state, a national stakeholder regulator? Concerning the imposition of traditional rules and regulations on the internet we should think first of all the cyber space characteristics: Separateness and Self regulation. Internet has no territorial borders. So, there is no connection between borders and sovereignty’s characteristics like power and legitimacy. Internet‘s architecture is decentralized. Nevertheless, the existence of self-regulation might overcome the problems because territorially-based regimes lack the authority and legitimacy to regulate outside their physical borders. With the emergence of an online environment traditional regulator powers have attempted to impose their norms and regulations constructing a new legal regime. This regime may claim the right to regulate the online activity of persons within its physical territory, and even impose these norms to its citizens when they are abroad.

In my opinion we should seek the solution of this problem at the level of the entity of the end-user. End users are citizens, corporations, even States. End users obtain a specific identity, a substantia inside the digital world. B. What legal and political instruments are needed to achieve the protection and realization of human rights in cyberspace? Human rights must be protected and enforced towards the protection of the end user, regarding the physical or legal personality that is engaged in cyber space. So, courts and international organizations do have the legitimacy to impose rules on cyber space regarding the personality of the citizen or organization. 1. European Union has made a lot of steps towards this kind of regulation. According to the Chapter of Fundamental Rights of the EU (Official Journal of the EU, 18/12/2000 C364/1), Article 1 [Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected], Article 6 [Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person] and Article 8 [Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her] is referring in depth to the correlation between the human rights and the condition of their protection in cyber space. 2. States have a strong interest in the framework of the security inside cyber space. Clapper, the director of USA ‘ s National Intelligence, told the USA Senate that there are 3 areas where USA are most vulnerable to a cyber attack: Electrical grid, Financial Institutions and Government Services. We can see that there are a lot of areas which are at stake regarding Government cyber security. 3. Civil society organizations could promote an understanding and construct bridges between stake holders. We should notice that there are few differences between normal, traditional governance and electronic governance. Electronic governance tends to be more transparent and accessible. Availability is strongly connected to electronic governance because there is more interaction with the users while citizens are allowed to contribute by making suggestions. Traditional government’s disadvantages like difficulty in direct communication, bureaucracy, corruption remain as great institutional obstacles for the implementation of electronic democracy inside cyber space. Talking about the implementation of the Rule of Law inside cyber space we should think of the participation of many stake holders, such as NGOs, the private sector and state-owned firms and academia. We should also think of the legitimating entities that are engaged in the whole process such as the stake holder’s attitudes towards the States’ acts and regulations (ACTA, NSA). This means the promotion of partnership between public sector and private sector and the strengthening of the legal framework and transparency that enforces the accountability of the process of the regulation inside cyber space. Rule of law equals to the respect of the Human Dignity. In order to keep a balance between upholding human rights principles and providing security and safety at the same time, we

should construct a precise regulation framework that protects citizens as users of the internet and public stakeholders. The protection of the human rights inside the cyber space requires the engagement of different stake holders. The protection of human liberty is the hard core of the whole process. The bet is on the balance between the state and the man. Photios N. Zygoulis Ph. D Candidate (Business Process Reengineering) University of Athens 2014 March

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