Bounding Cyber Power: Escalation and Restraint in Global Cyberspace

Paper No. 6

October 16, 2013

Cyberspace — the global communications and information ecosystem — is now deeply embedded in all aspects of our society, economics and politics. The security of this growing domain has become highly contested among states, the private sector and civil society. In this paper, the sixth in the Internet Governance Papers, Ronald J. Deibert argues that the near term in cyberspace governance has many scenarios taking us down a number of paths, while at the same time, the forces that shape social order are driving securitization processes in cyberspace. He argues that these processes may end up subverting the domain entirely, possibly leading to a system wide instability and perhaps international violence. We must have a clear vision and strategy to implement a security framework, and this requires coordinated work at multiple levels and a wide variety of stakeholders.

About the Author

Ronald J. Deibert is professor of political science and director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. His research interests include global security, human rights and the geopolitics of cyberspace and information controls.