Universiteit Leiden

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Challenges for the Security and Stability of Cyberspace and their Impact upon Global Stability

On Thursday 2 May, the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of Leiden University hosted a guest lecture given by former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru.

The subject of the lecture was the security of cyberspace and its impact on global stability, and how lessons learned from enhancing cyber-stability can be used to study a broader set of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and autonomous systems and their impact upon security.

The speed of light

The introduction was provided by the host of the event, dr. Vlad Niculescu-Dinca, Assistant Professor at ISGA, who offered a broad framing of the theme of Technology in security. Afterwards, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru took over and gave a short introduction to cyberspace and what kind of threats and solutions cyberspace can pose to society. He offered insights from his experience as the driver of NATO’s Cyber policy development and implementation regarding the constantly changing nature of these threats and the challenges that come from the fact that “Governments work by the speed of law, where the bad people work at the speed of light”. He concluded with a plea to the students, to engage in critical thinking and try to infuse the processes of developing new technologies and security regimes with principles, ethical reflection and human values.

After the presentation of Sorin Ducaru, Prof. Joachim Koops, Scientific Director of ISGA and second year students of the bachelor Security Studies had the opportunity to ask questions to the Ambassador. The students asked a variety questions that touched several aspects of his presentation: “What is NATO’s official position in the context of cyberspace?”,  “How is Russia involved in the security of cyberspace?” all the way to the more philosophical ones regarding the challenges of establishing cyber norms. Mr. Ducaru ended the lecture by saying that he enjoyed the event at Leiden University very much and he hopes to return.

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