Technology and law are not growing in the same proportion as they were required to do. Technology has crossed not only the territorial boundaries of various countries but also the limits of earth itself in the form of space technologies. Just like cyber law even the space law has not been able to catch up with the technological advances. This can be managed if the technology is used for non military and benign causes. However, the growing interference and control of military and intelligence agencies have totally spoiled the once peaceful cyberspace and Internet. If this is not enough countries are openly and shamelessly encouraging state hacking, cyber espionage and legal immunity backed cyber armies. Their sole aim is to to destabilise the electronic systems and critical infrastructures dependent upon such systems of adversary nations and stakeholders.
At this stage it is the responsibility of United Nations to step in and draft suitable and techno legal global treaties in fields like cyber law, cyber security, space law, geoengineering, etc. Unfortunately, the UN has not been able to do so in any of the above mentioned and other related fields. As a result, countries have drafted their own draconian laws that have been gladly supported by their apex courts. So there is a complete chaos at the international level and countries are now trying to regulate and eavesdrop their territorial portions of cyberspace.
The matter is not ended here. Countries, including India, are also forcing draconian tech like Aadhaar, facial recognition, social grading systems, etc to suppress civil liberties of citizens around the world. With the judiciary around the world succumbing to this Orwellian hunger of the government, there is little hope for the global netizens except to the extent protected by software and tools created by open source community to ensure civil liberties protection in cyberspace. There are some good civil liberties organisation as well that are fighting in respective jurisdictions but a global force to fight back against Orwellian ventures of various governments is still missing.
When nations have no interest to protect civil liberties in cyberspace, it becomes of paramount importance that UN and other international organisations must step in. We are at the brink of precipice and UN and other international organisations must understand the gravity of the situation. We need every possible help from any possible means, whether public or private. We need the brave open source community to stand up against this Orwellian and insecure cyberspace that was neither intended nor designed by the founding fathers of cyberspace.
No matter howsoever little an initiative may be it is worth exploring and pursuing if it strengthens civil liberties protection in cyberspace and make it robust, resilient and cyber secure. We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) have taken few small steps in this direction. For instance, we have launched the exclusive techno legal Centre of Excellence for Protection of Human Rights in Cyberspace (CEPHRC). It has been working to strengthen civil liberties and human rights protection in cyberspace. Similarly, we have recently launched world’s first techno legal TeleLaw Project that is working to minimise the impact of conflict of laws in cyberspace on the one hand and to help in harmonisation of international laws in fields like cyber law, cyber security, cyber forensics, e-discovery, artificial intelligence, machine learning, encryption, crypto currency, e-commerce, international trade, etc on the other. There are other techno legal projects of P4LO, TeleLaw and PTLB Projects that would make this entire exercise holistic, comprehensive and global in nature.
However, an international cooperation is required for effective global cyber security environment and we need help of other stakeholders in this regard. We are also willing to help other stakeholders in this regard if they need our help. International trade in goods and services is severely impacted if we allow this sort of chaos to continue. There must be a trust in global digital services and if companies and individuals are incessantly put under surveillance and cyber attacks without any legal accountability and with judicial apathy, stakeholders would loose confidence in international digital trade. The first thing that we must do is to remove the hold of global military and intelligence agencies from cyberspace and outer space. Instead of militarisation we must focus upon commercialisation of cyberspace and outer space.
For too long international organisations like UN, WTO, NATO, etc have kept a mum but this is high time to speak and govern the cyberspace and outer space. We at TeleLaw are always open to help in bringing harmonisation of international laws in fields like cyber law, cyber security, international trade, space law, AI, etc. If UN and other organisations continue to remain moot spectators, cyberspace and civil liberties would be compromised beyond repair and remedy. Wake up and let us reclaim our cyberspace and outer space for the common good of mankind and this universe.