The London Conference on Cyberspace: the future of international cybersecurity
Tomorrow the Foreign Office will host an international conference on cyber security – and I would just love to be a fly on the wall of the closed sessions seeking to teach the world how to behave on the internet.
Britain will be there trying to explain the difference between British criminal rioters and other nations’ freedom fighters, and that we need international co-operation to allow Cameron to block social networks in the UK while protecting the free speech and free intercourse of freedom fighters in other countries.
France will be trying to sell its spyware to China.
The USA will be late to the table.
Germany will be trying to sell its spyware to China.
Australia and New Zealand will be hoping to learn how to control access to the internet from China.
The CIA will be offering its spyware free to China – but it includes a secret back door.
Russia won’t say much; it’s too busy looking for opportunities.
The EU won’t say much; it’s too afraid that the Euro’s begging bowl to China will be spurned.
France will still be trying to sell its spyware to China.
The USA will make a great public stand on the immutability of free speech, while quietly trying to explain to China that you don’t actually have to protect civil liberties, you just have to pretend to.
China will be inscrutable. It doesn’t give a hoot. Its way has clearly proved to be the best way – why change what ain’t broken? If other countries leave their intellectual property lying around on the internet, picking them up isn’t criminal, it’s just good business. And anyway, what would happen if China foreclosed on the rest of the world?
So what will we get from this conference? My suspicion is that everyone will agree, and nothing will change. Except, perhaps, I can see the IWF’s Cleanfeed becoming even more international, growing from child pornography and copyright infringement to include other categories, and becoming mandatory for many ISPs around the world. Except for China which has got its own.