"War or Peace in Cyberspace: Whither International Cyber Security?" Conference

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Conference convened by The Simons Foundation
Balsillie School of International Affairs
Waterloo, Canada
May 24, 2018

Amb. (Ret) Paul Meyer, The Simons Foundation's Senior Fellow in Space and Cyber Security, developed and organized the "War or Peace in Cyberspace: Whither International Cyber Security?" Conference held at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada, on May 24, 2018.  The conference was convened by The Simons Foundation, and sponsored by The Simons Foundation, Project Ploughshares, the Centre for Peace Advancement at Conrad Grebel University College, the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and the Canadian Pugwash Group. 

Some three dozen experts from the fields of international affairs, cyber security and information technology gathered to consider the current state of the international cyber security policy discussion and its implications for conflict or peace in the vital, if vulnerable environment of cyberspace.  The conference engaged perspectives from academia, civil society, the Canadian military and the private sector. The Conference Report below summarizes the four panels of the conference and describes the main themes and outcomes of the day’s discussions, with an eye to potential next steps for civil society and the international community.

Executive Summary

Cyberspace and the Internet represent a unique human-created environment on which global society is increasingly dependent for its welfare. This space has experienced a major “militarization” in recent years with armed forces establishing cyber security units and many developing offensive cyber capabilities. Diplomatic efforts at developing agreed norms of responsible state behaviour in cyberspace have not kept pace with the growth of cyber security capabilities within national security establishments. The security “frame” imposed on discussions of international cyber policy has tended to marginalize human rights and humanitarian perspectives. The re-emergence of great power rivalry provides an opportunity for middle powers to exercise leadership in promoting cooperative security options for cyberspace. The wider stakeholder community including the private sector and civil society need to be better integrated into state-led discussions of international cyber security policy.   


"War or Peace in Cyberspace: Whither International Cyber Security?"
Summary Conference Report


Also visit The Hill Times below for commentary by Paul Meyer inspired by this recent conference:

“Why Canada needs a cyber security foreign policy”
Commentary by Paul Meyer
Senior Fellow in Space Security
The Simons Foundation
Published by The Hill Times (subscription required)
June 14, 2018