Posted : 2013-10-17 16:41
Updated : 2013-10-17 16:41

Cybersecurity knowhow should be shared by all

Choi Sung-joo, head of the preparatory secretariat for the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013, speaks during an interview held at his office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building in central Seoul, Tuesday.
/ Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Seoul conference to set stage for transfer of technology

By Chung Min-uck

Choi Sung-joo, head of the preparatory secretariat for the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013, said a more active transfer of cybersecurity technology is needed to help developing nations develop their capacity in cyberspace.

"Capacity building should be implemented in a way that developing nations can acquire the cybersecurity platform as well," said Choi during an interview. "If not, they will face difficulties when using information and communication technology (ICT) offered by developed countries."

"The Seoul conference is designed to set the stage to share such ideas," Choi added.

Despite international efforts to close the so-called digital divide around the world, underdeveloped countries of the ICT have had hard times reaping the economic and social benefits from cyberspace because they lack "firewall" appliances to protect their online environments from cyber attacks and threats.

In view of this, Seoul added "capacity building" to the conference agenda in order to reduce the emerging cybersecurity divide.

It also called for more participants from developing countries compared to previous cyberspace meetings held.

"Capacity building needs to be based on a sustainable model that will ensure the development momentum built up by international community gather further speed," said the secretariat head.

The agenda will be discussed in a separate panel session slated for Friday.

Commenting on establishing international "regulation" on various cyberspace issues, Choi said that it is too early to be realized.

"The main players leading the ICT sector are private enterprises not the state. So developing countries are in a difficult position to catch up," Choi said.

No international regulations exist on cyberspace issues, mainly, because of different standpoints between developed countries of ICT and developing countries.

The former insists that the private sector should take the leading role while keeping government involvement to a minimum, whereas, the latter greater state sovereignty in cyberspace.

He said that a realistic approach would be that the states carry out sound policies and engage with other countries to adopt a multinational approach.

Seoul instead plans to apply the "Seoul Principles" that will sum up all cyberspace issues discussed in the conference together with fundamental principles and best practices in cyberspace. Official documentation of cyberspace issues at a multinational level will be the first of its kind.

Summing up the Seoul-hosted conference, the Ambassador for International Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, " The Seoul Conference on Cyberspace will offer an opportunity for in-depth discussions on ways to reinforce international collaboration including on the development of confidence building measures which are designed to create a credible, safe cyberspace through increased transparency."

"Furthermore, closer cooperation between law enforcement authorities and the private sector will take place to toughen responses to cyber crimes."

With Seoul aiming to take the initiative on cyberspace issues, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is to jointly open a global cyber security center in Songdo International City, Incheon, together with the World Bank.

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