[bestbits] Blogpost: Civil Society and the Emerging Internet Cold War: Non-Alignment and the Public Interest

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 17:08:12 EST 2013

I've taken my comments below and expanded them as a blogpost (with links






Comments/critiques etc. welcomed




From: michael gurstein [mailto:gurstein at gmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 8:43 AM
To: 'governance at lists.igcaucus.org'; 'Philipp Mirtl'; 'Louis Pouzin (well)'
Subject: RE: [governance] CNAS Commentary: "The Internet Yalta"


To carry forward this Cold War analogy I'm wondering whether the appropriate
position for civil society should rather be one of "non-alignment"; that is,
a position which recognizes a degree of validity in both sets of arguments
but chooses to put these in the broader and more univeral context of the
development of the Internet as a global public good, operating in support of
the global public interest where there is a universal acceptance of free
expression, human rights, and a fair distribution of economic benefits among
other rights and principles.




From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org
[mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org] On Behalf Of Philipp Mirtl
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2013 7:41 AM
To: Louis Pouzin (well); governance at lists.igcaucus.org
Subject: AW: [governance] CNAS Commentary: "The Internet Yalta"


Dear Louis,


Thanks for your comment. Please note that the commentary was written by
Alexander Klimburg, who I am working together with – not myself. Alex is not
member to this list which is why he asked me to forward you the following:


“Depends what you mean by “creeping cyberwar”. If you mean the often-noted
“militarisation of cyberspace” that is only one trend – and in some cases it
is simply really part of “de-spooking of cyberwar” (i.e. making it more,
rather than less, visible). The vast majority cyberconflict is invisible to
those without the necessary technical or governmental insight.“


For more info, I also send you two additional links on that issue:


-          Alexander Klimburg (2011): “Mobilising Cyber Power”, Survival,
53:1, 41-60 (via:

-          Alexander Klimburg (Ed.) (2012), National Cyber Security
Framework Manual, NATO CCD COE Publication (via:


Warm regards,





Von: pouzin at gmail.com [mailto:pouzin at gmail.com] Im Auftrag von Louis Pouzin
Gesendet: Montag, 11. Februar 2013 16:21
An: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; Philipp Mirtl
Betreff: [governance] CNAS Commentary: "The Internet Yalta"


Hi Philipp,

Congrats for your very perceptive analysis. The fragmentation trend is
indeed on the ground already. Do you have any comments on the creeping
cyberwar ?

Best, Louis
- - -

On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 1:36 PM, Philipp Mirtl <Philipp.Mirtl at oiip.ac.at>

Dear list members,


For those who are interested, I forward you the link to a recently published
commentary on WCIT-12: http://www.cnas.org/theinternetyalta.


The abstract reads as follows:


“The December 2012 meeting of the World Conference on International
Telecommunications (WCIT) may be the digital equivalent of the February 1945
meeting of the Allied powers in Yalta: the beginning of a long Internet Cold
War between authoritarian and liberal-democratic countries. The battles over
Internet governance that surfaced at WCIT are not just about competing
visions of the Internet, with one side favoring openness and the other
security. They are also about two different visions of political power – one
in which that power is increasingly distributed and includes non-state
actors, and one in which state power is dominant. At the Yalta Conference,
Western democracies made two fundamental mistakes: first, they allowed naive
statements of wishful thinking to supplant actual realities on the ground.
Second, they overlooked the risk inherent in permitting ambiguous
definitions. Both of these mistakes may have been repeated at WCIT.”


Best regards,



Philipp Mirtl


Fellow / Adviser

Österreichisches Institut für Internationale Politik (oiip)

Austrian Institute for International Affairs

Berggasse 7


Tel: +43-(0)1-581 11 06-29 <tel:%2B43-%280%291-581%2011%2006-29> 

Fax: +43-(1)1-581 11 06-10 <tel:%2B43-%281%291-581%2011%2006-10> 

E-Mail: philipp.mirtl at oiip.ac.at

Website: www.oiip.ac.at <http://www.oiip.ac.at/> 


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