Exeter Academic Speaks at the Internet Security Conference in Beijing
On Tuesday 4 September 2018, Dr Kubo Mačák gave a talk entitled “Future of Cyberspace Governance: The Role of International Law” at one of the world’s largest cyber security conferences.
China is one of the main cyber powers in the world today. Accordingly, its academics, practitioners, and policy-makers have recently been developing a strong interest in cyberspace governance and the role played by the rule of law online. Dr Mačák was invited to speak at the Internet Security Conference (ISC 2018) on the role international law may play in the future of cyberspace governance.
In his talk, he summarized his findings from a joint research project with Professor Zhixiong Huang of Wuhan University on the differences between Chinese and Western approaches to the rule of law in cyberspace. Dr Mačák said: “The unique features of cyberspace present states with unprecedented opportunities for development and prosperity. One of them is the ability to work with non-state actors such as NGOs, industry, and academia in formulating new models of governance. But no doubt international law will also play a role – and how central that role will be depends only on states and their willingness to endorse legal certainty in relation to cyber activities.”
Dr Mačák closed by proposing a three-step “road ahead” for the future development of international cyber law, consisting of official statements on cyber law in the short term, a rejuvenation of multilateral initiatives in the medium-term, and a comprehensive cyber law treaty in the long-term.
The ISC has, since its establishment in 2013, evolved as a security gala of the largest scale, highest level and greatest influence in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2018, over 30,000 people took part in the conference. Dr Mačák spoke in the context of the “Rule of Law on Internet Security Forum”, which was attended by approximately 150 participants from China and abroad. Other speakers in the session have included Fan Mingzhi (China Institute of Applied Jurisprudence), Bruce McConnell (EastWest Institute), and Ma Minhu (Xi’an Jiaotong University).