This paper aims to review the current debates regarding the role of the state in securing the cyberspace, with a particular focus on the negotiations taking place in the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
This paper reflects on the evolution of the UNGA discourse on the role of the state in protecting the cyberspace, based on the textual analysis of all UNGA resolutions pertaining to the politico-military aspects of internet security.
The paper finds that the lack of an officially adopted definition for internet security in the UNGA discussions led to agreement solely on informative, best practice sharing or voluntary activities addressing other states, rather than providing an integrated vision for protecting the cyberspace.
The analysis is limited to the negotiations taking place in one institutional venue, namely the UNGA between 1998 and 2011, complemented by three resolutions issued by the ITU in 2010; activities conducted in other institutional venues might influence or determine the overall discourse noted in the resolutions under investigation here.
This represents the most comprehensive account of the discourse on the role of the state in securing the cyberspace as presented in the UNGA and ITU resolutions and its evolution over time.
The author is grateful for inspiring discussions and valuable feedback received at the 7th Annual GigaNet Symposium (Baku, November 5, 2012). Received 20 April 2013 Revised 2 July 2013 Accepted 11 July 2013
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