NEW DELHI – The world now accepts that protecting our atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere – the “global commons” – is the responsibility of all countries. The same norm must apply to cyberspace, which is critical to our everyday life, economic well-being, and security.
At a time when cyber attacks are increasing worldwide, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was right to declare that an attack on one nation’s computer networks “can be an attack on all.” Indeed, the attacks are a reminder that, as a new part of the global commons, cyberspace already has come under threat.
Cyberspace must be treated, along with outer space, international waters, and international airspace, as property held in common for the good of all. And, like ocean piracy and airplane hijacking, cyber-crime cannot be allowed to go unpunished if we are to safeguard our common assets and collective interests.