Apr 1, 2022
A New Paradigm for Security and Human Rights
The internet has become an integral part of daily life. It is also the world’s largest communication network, whose reach is only growing. As digital technologies expand into virtually every area of our lives, they are also becoming more potent in influencing human rights and security in unknown ways at their inception in the late 20th century.
We briefly discuss, in this blog post, how cyber governance can redefine the relationship between international law and modern digital technologies and how cyber governance can further shape the future of both citizens and states in a way that promotes human rights and security for all.
What Is Cyber Governance?
Cyber governance is the process of overseeing how digital technologies are governed. It encompasses the governance of everything from data to cyber security to internet communications.
Governance can take place at three levels, which include international law, national law, and private law.
International law is an agreement between states that governs certain behaviours in cyberspace. National law refers to the laws enacted by governments within their jurisdictions. Private law is defined by agreements or contracts between private actors, such as businesses or individuals.
Cyber governance has evolved over the past few decades to encompass these three levels of government.
How Cyber Governance Can Shape the Future
The internet is a fundamental part of everyday life for billions of people, and it is expanding at an exponential rate. We now have more than 3 billion smartphone users. 11% of the world’s population has internet access, and over two-thirds of the world’s population is using social media. The digital revolution is transforming our world in ways that are hard to predict.
For example, cyber governance can affect international law by shaping how states interact on the global stage. That means that traditional notions of sovereignty may be challenged as nations increasingly cooperate to address shared challenges.
Furthermore, cyber governance can have a significant impact on human rights and security. For instance, there are cases where governments use their power over domestic telecommunications networks to censor the information available to citizens or prevent them from accessing certain websites. This creates a host of new issues like the lack of transparency about government communications that could lead to censorship without accountability or transparency mechanisms needed for democratic accountability.
Governments should think about how they can promote human rights and security in the digital age through these three key areas: promoting human rights online, creating safe environments online, and protecting public institutions like voting systems from cyberattacks.
Legal Challenges of Cyber Governance
The world is becoming increasingly digitalized, so it makes sense that our legal frameworks are adapting to meet these changes. The nature of law has shifted from being territorial to being global. With the internet, every country is accessible with just one click.
However, while the law has changed in response to technological shifts, it has had varying degrees of success adapting to new circumstances. One way that international law has lagged behind digital realities is by not yet recognizing cyber governance as a tool for promoting human rights and security.
For example, the U.N.'s "traditional" approach to cyber security sees the protection of information systems as a purely national issue rather than an international one where member states work together on the issue. This approach might not be sufficient in today's environment.
Cyber governance is still a contested territory when defining boundaries of power between states and other actors operating online. And while some states have taken steps towards developing their cyber governance capabilities, they are often at odds with one another over this emerging field of international law.
The last decade has seen the rise of cyber-governance, a new dimension of international law constantly evolving. The definition of cyber governance has been continuously changing to adapt to the ever-changing digital environment.
Cyber governance is not just about security or privacy, but also human rights and freedoms, as it can redefine the relationship between international law and modern digital technologies and can shape the future of both citizens and states in a way that promotes human rights and security for all.
Al Armouti is a Leading Law Firm in International Trade and Technology RegulationJordan | GCC Copyright © 2022, Al Armouti Lawyers & Consultants. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular matter. It does not constitute legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.
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