Cyber Norms, Law and Accountability: Roads to Progress?

On May 31st, 2022, the Washington Foreign Law Society and the Stimson Center co-hosted a webinar on Cyber Norms, Law and Accountability: Roads to Progress? The panel featured Michele G. Markoff (Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Cyberspace Security at the US Department of State), Katitza Rodriguez (Policy Director for Global Privacy at the Electronic Frontier Foundation), and was moderated by Alison Pytlak (Nonresident Fellow at the Stimson Center and Manager of the Disarmament Programme of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom). Additionally, Michael Teodori (President, WFLS) provided introductory and closing remarks.

Summary of the event: Diverse international events in the past few years, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, increased reliance on digital technologies for remote work, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have resulted in an increase in cybercrime with an accompanying challenge to cyber norms and international law. Ongoing efforts in the realm of cyber norms and law include developing a new cybercrime treaty at the UN; a cooperative, international anti-ransomware initiative; and joint state efforts to take down cybercriminals.

During this roundtable, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Michele Markoff and Policy Director Katitza Rodriguez described what they saw as some of the primary challenges to upholding international law and cyber norms.  The distinguished group of experts then shared their thoughts on the U.S. government’s cyber policies and the U.N. cybercrime treaty. The panelists also discussed the framework of the groups of governmental experts and open-ended working groups in the development of international cyber law and norms, and if there is an accountability gap for state behavior. The moderator also submitted specific audience questions to Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Markoff Michelle who discussed the U.S.’ ransomware initiative while Policy Director Rodriguez addressed cryptocurrencies and cybercrime.

 The Washington Foreign Law Society wishes to thank the panelists for their time and contributions.

Resources discussed during the event: 

— Opening Stages in UN Cybercrime Treaty Talks Reflect Human Rights Risks: https://www.justsecurity.org/81105/opening-stages-in-un-cybercrime-treaty-talks-reflect-human-rights-risks/

— UN Committee To Begin Negotiating New Cybercrime Treaty Amid Disagreement Among States Over Its Scope: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/02/un-committee-begin-negotiating-new-cybercrime-treaty-amid-disagreement-among

— Negotiations Over UN Cybercrime Treaty Under Way in New York, With EFF and Partners Urging Focus on Human Rights: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2022/03/negotiations-over-international-police-powers-agreement-must-keep-human-rights

— On New Cross-Border Cybercrime Policing Protocol, a Call for Caution: https://www.justsecurity.org/81502/on-new-cross-border-cybercrime-policing-protocol-a-call-for-caution/

— U.S. allies blame Russia for a cyberattack early in its Ukraine invasion: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/11/us-allies-blame-russia-cyberattack-early-its-ukraine-invasion/

Posted June 1, 2022 in: General News