In November 2011, the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office hosted the first-ever Global Cyberspace Conference, which set the agenda for subsequent global cyber
conferences (Budapest 2012, Seoul 2013 and the Hague
2015). The London conference established key principles for governing behaviors in cyberspace:
■ ■ The need to respect international law.
■ ■ The need to remain open to innovation and the
free expression of ideas.
■ ■ The need to work collectively to counter criminality and terrorism.
■ ■ The need to respect the privacy of the individual.
■ ■ The need to protect intellectual property and to
foster global commerce.
The U.K. government continues to invest heavily in
cybersecurity. In December 2015, following the five-year Strategic Defense and Security Review and Comprehensive Spending review, an estimated £1.9 billion
has been set aside for cybersecurity (with GCHQ being
the key recipient). Similarly, this funding takes place
against a backdrop of up to 40 percent
cuts across the U.K. public sector, again
indicating how seriously the U.K. takes
In the coming year, the U.K. has two
big policy challenges. First is the new EU
directive (NIS directive) and specifically
the burden of any mandatory sharing
and reporting or breach information.
The U.K. government has tended to
resist mandatory requirements because
of costs, preferring a more voluntary
approach. Perhaps even more challenging, certainly to the U.K.’s wider national
security and intelligence operations, is
the so-called “snooper’s charter, a draft
U.K. Home Office bill designed to compel
communications service providers to
collect and retain information about
their users, which can then be used, under warrant, for the purposes of detecting serious crime, including child abuse
Turning to South America, Brazil’s cultural background owes substantially to its geographic size as
a continental-size country located in the tropics at a
similar distance from the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia.
This has naturally created a cultural melting pot of
different civilizations, mixing old and new, developed
and underdeveloped, North and South, which convert
into a laboratory of viewpoints related to privacy and
security. Brazil’s prominence in Latin America has
created influence over other nations in the region, and
the support programs extended by Brazilian authorities
have enhanced such influence, which is also backed
by Brazil’s presence among the BRICS and in the G- 20
group of nations.
Since the 1970s and ’80s, Brazil’s Doctrine of
National Security has emphasized technological
autonomy and independent security. This emphasis
on national technological independence is included in
the Brazilian constitution. This viewpoint has recently
resulted in plans for independent undersea cables for
data, separate national email infrastructure for e-gov
communications and similar initiatives. These are sup-
government, coupled with provisions
in the so-called Civil Landmark for the
Internet, an innovative statutory law that
establishes principles aiming to integrate
security and privacy while keeping con-
sistent with international best practices.
Given its unique developments and its
leadership role, Brazil should be closely tracked as it may point to important
trends in cybersecurity policy.
In Asia and the Middle East, the
strategic security landscape has become
more complex with the rise of China, the
Asian pivot by the U.S. and the threats
from militant religious groups. Layered
on top of this complexity are the fast improving growth of Asian companies and
the hyper-growth of regions like the UAE
with its vast banking industry. There are
now increasing cybersecurity breaches
where there are criminal or nationalistic interests behind the attack. Almost
1970s and ’80s,
has become more complex with the rise of China, the Asian
pivot by the U.S. and the threats from militant religious groups.