The uncertainties of cyberspace
Updated: 2011-07-02 07:53
By Shen Yi (China Daily)
Since US Internet policy is provocative, it ought to work with nations like China to make the virtual world safe and stable
The US is trying to combine different principles, strategies and polices to deal with a range of problems, including the security of key information systems, information-based economy and IT-sponsored diplomacy, which are linked to a united strategic framework.
The unclassified sections of the US Defense Department's new cyber strategy - published in June - is designed to make it clear to other countries that they can be held responsible for cyber attacks launched from within their borders.
These two new strategies and the speeches on Internet freedom by US State Secretary Hillary Clinton - together with specific remarks, interviews and responses to developments in North Africa and the Middle East since December - have created a serious challenge not only for Sino-US strategic ties, but also international relations as a whole.
It's time to think systematically how to govern cyberspace to ensure its development and create as much benefits as possible for countries and international relations. As two of the largest countries both in the real and virtual worlds, China and the US have a special responsibility to cooperate in building a proper global regime to govern cyberspace.
Changing the perception of cyber security, developing a code of conduct, and building a collaborative structure to deal with different kinds of challenges are the three main tasks that decision-makers in Beijing and Washington face.
First, changing the perception of cyber security would help limit the negative effects that could disrupt strategic relations among big powers, especially China and the US. As Robert Jervis, professor of International Affairs at Columbia University, says in his Perception and Misperception in International Politics, decision-makers tend to learn from the experience of dealing with challenges not encountered before.
The US' new cyber strategy is obviously rooted in the legacy of the Cold War, according to which big powers should do everything possible to expand their influence and control as much as possible the new areas of strategic advantage.
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