The Citizen Lab is pleased to announce the release of a new publication by Director Ron Deibert, “Bounding Cyber Power: Escalation and Restraint in Global Cyberspace, ” written for the CIGI Internet Governance Paper series.
Cyberspace is the global communications and information ecosystem, and it is now deeply embedded in all aspects of society, economics and politics. As cyberspace has grown in size and significance, the security of the domain has become highly contested among states, the private sector and civil society. This paper is divided into two parts: The first half focuses on the forces that are contributing to escalating international tensions and conflicts in cyberspace, largely driven by state-based concerns around national security. From this perspective, the exercise of state power in cyberspace is growing (to borrow an old phrase) in “leaps and bounds.” The second half employs a different meaning of “bounding power” – which refers to tying down, checking or restraining the exercise of power – and outlines steps that might be taken to lead us down an alternative path, whereby security and openness are both protected and preserved.