International law governing cyberspace globally urgently needed to ensure human rights

Friday, 2020-08-28 12:55:23
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Director of the MPS’s Foreign Relations Department Maj. Gen. Nguyen Thanh Son speaks at the seminar.
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NDO – A virtual executive seminar themed “International law governing cyberspace” was co-held by the Department of Foreign Relations under the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in coordination with the Dutch Embassy and the EU delegation to Vietnam in Hanoi on August 27.

The event was aimed at providing an overview of the structure of international law governing countries’ behaviours on cyberspace, and sharing information and experience of police forces in combating cybercrimes and ensuring security and safety on cyberspace along with human rights, with a special focus on the vulnerable groups such as women and children, who are often targeted by cybercriminals.

In her remarks, Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Elsbeth Akkerman emphasised that the seminar taking place virtually shows the importance and urgency of the cybersecurity issue.

Human reliance on digital technology has been on the rise and the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating that process. This means that individuals, companies and organisations using digital technology can potentially become victims of cybercriminal attacks, she said.

The diplomat stressed the need to have a good understanding of international law related to cybersecurity, hoping that the event could provide new perspectives surrounding international law governing cyberspace, towards applying them to the reality in Vietnam in the near future.

Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Elsbeth Akkerman speaks at the event.

Highlighting the importance of the seminar, Ambassador Pier Giorgio Aliberti, Head of the EU delegation to Vietnam, stated that cyberspace has become a national security issue and plays an essential role in many areas of social life, but is also becoming more and more complicated.

He hailed the event as an opportunity to provide new scientific perspectives on how Vietnam, the EU and other countries can protect the system and important values, and prevent cyberattacks on the basis of international law.

In his address, Director of the MPS’s Foreign Relations Department Maj. Gen. Nguyen Thanh Son stated that with the digital revolution, the world and Vietnam are entering a cyberspace with many challenges and opportunities.

General view of the seminar.

Ensuring security and safety in cyberspace is an issue of global concern that has strong and comprehensive impacts on all aspects of social life, he said, noting that, like other countries, Vietnam wishes to create a safe space for digital communication, creating favourable conditions for economic development, especially in the context of increasingly extensive international integration.

At the seminar, Michael Schmitt, Professor of International Law at the University of Reading (UK), presented some basic concepts of international law on cyberspace activities, milestones on the formation of important documents, and their developments over time. He also clarified the ways to use force and self-defence, as well as the humanitarian laws applied to cyberspace.

Liis Vihul, CEO of Cyber Law International (CLI), mentioned the issues of sovereignty, investigation and interference in cyberspace, emphasising the principle of respect for sovereignty and national obligations in cyberspace.