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Due Diligence in Cyberspace

Guidelines for International and European Cyber Policy and Cybersecurity Policy

SWP Research Paper 2016/RP 07, 26.05.2016, 33 Pages Research Areas

Global cyberspace is undergoing fundamental change. There are now frequent references to a “fragmentation of the Internet”, but many European and international working groups are also increasingly aware that “a free, open and at the same time secure Internet” is a global public good. However, the political rules adopted for International and European cyber policies and cybersecurity policies will always lag behind technological developments. It is the more important, therefore, to subject these rules to the over-arching norm of due diligence in cyberspace, and to do so on the national, European and international levels. This generates three requirements for Germany’s future strategic orientation in cyberspace:

  • European cooperation: integrating national policies into the European framework;
  • Inclusiveness: giving different interest groups broad and publicly accessible representation in formulating policies;
  • Civilian response: prioritising the civilian component over the military component, particularly in times of peace.

However, Germany’s major partners are confused as to what goals precisely it is pursuing in cyberspace. It is therefore advisable for Berlin to improve its coordination and communication of responsibilities at the national and EU levels, be it on issues of Internet Governance, the fight against cybercrime, or cyberdefence.