Q3/2019 - Mircosoft, Cyber Peace Institute (CPI)
On 25 September 2019, a Cyber Peace Institute (CPI) was established in Geneva. The CPI emerged from a proposal made by Microsoft in 2016 for drafting a new “Digital Geneva Convention”. Back then, the proposal was not received with unanimous approval. Microsoft, nevertheless, continued to develop the underlying idea. In 2018, a “Tech Accord” was issued for signature, which in the meantime has been signed by more than 100 enterprises. At the same time, Microsoft launched a Digital Peace Initiative, which gathered more than 150,000 signatures. The CPI is the next module in Microsoft's commitment to greater security and stability in cyberspace.
The mandate of the new institute is limited to three core areas: assistance, accountability, advancement. First and foremost, the CPI shall help victims of cyber attacks to protect themselves against attacks and to remedy any damage they have suffered, if possible. Furthermore, the institute shall help to find anonymous attackers, to unmask them and to hold them accountable, i.e. the institute shall make a contribution to the politically controversial issue of "attribution" without interfering with the sovereignty of states. Finally, it shall also help to strengthen the rule of law in cyberspace as a whole, to ensure greater transparency and to disseminate knowledge people should have about the dangers and possibilities of cyberspace. The mandate in the three core areas is described as follows:
- Assistance: Coordinating recovery efforts for the most vulnerable victims of cyber-attacks and assisting vulnerable communities and organisations to increase their resilience to attacks
- Accountability: Facilitating the collective analysis research and investigation of cyber attacks, also by assessing the harm they cause, and creating greater transparency for the problem in order to provide better information thanks to a better database
- Advancement: Promoting positive and responsible behaviour in cyberspace by reinforcing and improving compliance with international law and norms
The first President of the Digital Peace Institute became Marietje Schaake, former Member of European Parliament representing the Netherlands. In her role as MEP, Schaake has earned herself a widely respected reputation as an Internet expert. She was Commissioner in the Global Commission on Stability in Cyberspace (GCSC) and regularly attended the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) organised by UNO. After she had left the European Parliament in May 2019, Marietje Schaake moved on to Stanford Cyber Policy Center and to the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence of Stanford University.
- CEO of the new institute was appointed Stéphane Duguin from France. Duguin has long years of experience in the European Union and EUROPOL.
- An Executive Board of eight assumes the function of a Supervisory Board. Members of the Board include Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, and Khoo Boon Hui, former President of Interpol.
- A 14-person Advisory Council will counsel the new institute. The members of the Advisory Council include Prof. Joe Nye, JFK School of Government of Harvard University and member of the Global Commission on Stability in Cyberspace (GCSC) and Jamie Shea, former spokesman of NATO.
The new Digital Peace Institute is based in Geneva. It will initially be financed with five million US dollars each by the three founding members Hewlett Foundation, Mastercard and Microsoft. Facebook and the Ford Foundation are also major sponsors. Another 14 companies and platforms, including the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Packet Clearing House and the Global Cyber Alliance, are partners of the institute. Further partners are being sought. The final size of the institute has not yet been determined. Initially, four additional positions are being advertised for the management of the institute (Chief Communications Officer, Chief of Staff, Chief Operations Officer and Chief Technology Officer). You can also apply to the CPI as a volunteer.