The role of the UN Security Council in cybersecurity: international peace and security in the digital age.
Niels Nagelhus Schia and Eneken Tikk in Routledge Handbook of International Cybersecurity
20 April 2020
At the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the UN Security Council is faced with difficult questions about its efficacy, relevance and legitimacy. The leading powers and the permanent members (P5) of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA – are drawn into a heavy contest over the world order. Power lines are (to be) drawn in an increasingly digital, interconnected and multi-stakeholder society. So far, despite the language from heads of states, global media houses and from leaders of international organizations including NATO and the UN, none of the P5 countries have brought cyber to the UNSC. Other countries – for instance, Lithuania and the Netherlands – have considered introducing cybersecurity issues in the Council, but no action has followed. One of the most recent members-elect, Estonia, has pledged to take the issue up.
To stay relevant and act up on its responsibility for international peace and security, the Security Council will have to establish itself vis-à-vis cyber issues. The goal of this chapter is to examine why and how. To what extent do questions pertaining to digital threats and cybersecurity fall within the mandate of the Council and what could it address given the politically tense times among the P5.
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Social Practices of Rule-Making for International Law in the Cyber Domain.
Mark Raymond in Journal of Global Security Studies.
20 February 2020
In 2013, despite deteriorating relations between Russia and the United States and increased global contention over cybersecurity issues, participating states in the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly agreed on a landmark report endorsing the applicability of existing international law to state military use of information technology. Given these conditions, the timing of this agreement was surprising. In this article I argue that state representatives engaged in a rule-governed social practice of applying old rules to new cases, and that the procedural rules governing this practice help to explain the existence, timing, and form of the agreement. They also help to explain further agreements expressed in a follow-on report issued in 2015. The findings of the case study presented here demonstrate that social practices of rule-making are simultaneously rule-governed and politically contested, and that outcomes of these processes have been shaped by specialized rules for making, interpreting, and applying rules. The effectiveness of procedural rules in shaping the outcome of a contentious, complex global security issue suggests that such rules are likely to matter even more in simpler cases dealing with less contentious issues.
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