Monday, October 17, 2011
A question was recently put in a BLOG, whether CYBER DIPLOMACY should be studied and pursued as a distinct activity.
I think that CYBER DIPLOMACY should be a field of study and a practice on its own.
The term ‘CYBER’ is referring to the science of cybernetics, and it is derived from the Greek verb ‘ΚΥΒΕΡΝΑΩ’ (‘Kybernao’), which means ‘TO STEER’ and which is the root of our present concept ‘TO GOVERN’. It describes both the idea of NAVIGATION through a space of interconnected networks of computers and electronic data, and of CONTROLS which is achieved by manipulating those NETWORKS and DATA.
The term ‘DIPLOMACY’ is referring to the art, methods and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups, local or international organizations (e.g. U.N.), or sovereign (e.g. U.S.) or semi-sovereign states (Canadian Province, Australian States, etc.). It is derived from the Greek word DIPLOMA, which means ‘LICENCE’ or ‘CHART’ (originally defining a paper folded in a double manner).
Negotiation is a DIALOGUE between two or more parties, intended to reach an understanding, resolve point of difference, etc., and finally to produce an agreement upon a course of action to settle the issues to a satisfactory level for both parties.
In its current version DIPLOMACY pertains to the conduct of international relations through the interactive activities of NEGOTIATION of professional diplomats with regard to issues of trade, human rights, peace-making, war, economics, environment, trade, etc.
To these issues, it is prudent to add the CYBER ISSUES. And as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton proclaimed (February 15, 2011): “The Internet has become the public space of the 21st century…We all shape and are shaped by what happens there, all 2 billion of us and counting. And that presents a challenge. To maintain an Internet that delivers the greatest possible benefits to the world, we need to have a serious conversation about the principles that will guide us…”
Also as we all rely, more and more, on computers and the internet now (communications, email, cellphones, entertainment, car engine systems, airplane navigation control systems, online stores, credit cards, medical equipment, medical records, etc.), weak-technologically nations are at a big disadvantage vis-à-vis their strong-technologically nations
For all these reasons, and to resolve the most critical issues in today’s societies related to the CYBERSPACE and its best use, exploitation and control, CYBER DIPLOMACY should be instituted, both as a field of study as well as a set of activities to be carried out by the DIPLOMATS, in order to reach a more harmonic balance in the international activities of nations.