It is almost impossible to read the news without coming across a lead story cataloguing the latest cyber breach or misuse of data. Intellectual property is being stolen from companies at an alarming rate. Foreign actors are meddling in elections. Criminals use the dark recesses of the internet to sell drugs, guns and even people. The volume of these events lays bare the paradox of the digital economy and cyber security. On one hand, technology has led to convenience, efficiency and wealth creation. On the other hand, this great push to digitize society has meant building inherent vulnerability into the core of the economic model. This is all taking place atop a deeply fragmented and underdeveloped system of global rules. Given this paradox, the purpose behind this essay series on security in cyberspace, first published online in spring 2019, is threefold. First, it brings together an interdisciplinary team, including the private sector, academics and leading experts to provide creative ideas and fresh thinking in these emergent areas surrounding data governance, cyber security and new technology. Second, it aims to advance a public policy debate that recognizes that while cyber security threats are increasing in both number and sophistication, there is economic potential for Canadian firms to capitalize on a growing market. Third, it argues for the advancement of a more stable international institutional order. The international rules-based system in cyberspace is still in its infancy, and innovative thinking is needed to make sure that Canada can play a leadership role in crafting the governance architecture. 

 

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