Since the early days of the internet, discussions on new information technologies and cyber space have changed dramatically, with a shift away from cooperation and joint progress to fierce competition and even conflict. In view of this, promoting trust is more important than ever. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also underlined this in a statement on the margins of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan:
We urgently need clear international rules on the digital sector and new technologies, for instance as regards the international flow of data. We also need common rules on the use of artificial intelligence. These regulations must be based on human rights and ethical criteria.
Without mutual trust between governments, companies and the public, joint technological advances are at risk. And if the fundamental technologies of our digitally interconnected world become divided along national lines, what does that mean for international stability and security?
Trust in innovation and cyber space
Previous Cyber Security Summits (CSS) have taken place in centres of IT innovation such as Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Tallinn. In the immediate run-up to the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the MSC is holding the CSS 2019 in Berlin on 24 and 25 November. The aim of the event is to launch open and transparent discussions on how trust can be fostered in innovation and cyber space. With a view to the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum, the CSS 2019 will also focus on strategic aspects of internet governance and the importance of multilateral and multi-stakeholder cooperation. The CSS 2019 is being co-hosted with Deutsche Telekom, with support from the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
The main topics on the conference agenda are deterring and defending against cyber interference in elections; combating online disinformation and extremism; protecting freedom of internet use and access; and the growing importance of tech firms, including as regards 5G expansion.
In order to build a bridge between IT experts and security policymakers, the CSS 2019 will bring together some 150 people, including high-level decision-makers and representatives of the tech sector, research institutes and civil society. The high-level participants will include Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy; Marek Zagórski, Polish Minister of Digital Affairs; Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Ghanaian Minister of Communications; and Rossen Jeliazkov, Bulgarian Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications.