Irrespective of David Eaves’ speculations about the underlying motives of the U.S., UK and the remaining Open Government Partnership cosigners, internet security certainly is a subfield of strategic foreign policy thinking. On the Atlantic Council website, John Healey has summed up the current status quo of the discussions for cybersecurity treaty. The Sino-Russian UN proposal for an “International Code of Conduct for International Security”. Healy has an excerpt addressing Twitter revolutions (Russia’s and China’s noospheric soft belly) …
The Russian and Chinese proposal asks for nations to pledge to
… prevent other states from using their resources, critical infrastructures, core technologies or other advantages, to undermine the rights of other countries … to independent control of ICTs, or to threaten other countries’ political, economic and social security.
… and the points at the omission of paragraphs on patriotic hackers (kind of unlawful cyber combatants posing asymmetric risks for the West):
Any UN voluntary code should include a pledge by nations to control patriotic hackers, militias, or other groups that are ignored, encouraged, or even supported by governments. This has been a scourge of modern cyber conflict and is a lead cause of instability in cyberspace, helping to escalate crises. And Russia and China are the particular sponsors of such groups as seen in Estonia and Georgia (Russia) and against the United States after Hainan Island incident and bombing of the Beijing embassy in Belgrade (China).
(Annotation: In Germany, courts have ruled human-bot-driven DDoS attacks legal and likened them to likewise legal sit-ins, which block traffic from and to property in the physical world.)
Update: The Council of Foreign Relations has a blog entry – alas too short – on the Chinese perspective of the geopolitics in cyberspace.
But taken together with China’s proposed International Code of Conduct for Information Security, they suggest that some observers in China feel that the United States has gained momentum in cyberspace with the introduction of the International Strategy for Cyberspace and the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.