GCSS in London, 2011

The first ever conference of GCCS was held in London in 2011. It came to be known as the London Process which set an example in the field of Cyberspace and provided a platform to address key themes prevalent in Cyberspace. The conference witnessed a participation of 700 global delegates and helped in setting up rules and guidelines for the subsequent editions....

It set the precedent in Cyberspace as it provided a platform to address key themes prevalent in Cyberspace. The London Conference initiated a broad dialogue on the opportunities and challenges that arise from an increasingly networked world. During the conference, a series of principles were set up on how to govern the cyberspace.

The key driver of the conference was the need to secure the cyberspace which was evolving rapidly and as a result, brought a host of challenges and threats with it. While the new advancements in technology brought unprecedented options to allow the users various benefits of cyberspace, a secure environment had to be created.

It was accepted and acknowledged that while the public institutions and the government were working towards the interests of the citizens, the civil society and industry also needed to come together to bolster the governments in this initiative. Thus, this conference brought a paradigm shift in the behavior of all the stakeholders.

The London Process also helped set up rules and guidelines for the next set of conferences. The key idea was to learn from this conference and use it as a starting point for the next conference. Around 700 participants from over 60 countries ensured the success of this first conference.

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GCSS in Budapest, 2012

The second GCCS event was held in Budapest from 4-5 October, 2012 which took the dialogues from the London Process forward. The second conference put a broader agenda to discuss in addition to the norms for cyber behavior, governance and internet with focus on relationship between internet rights and internet security. GCCS 2012 was attended by 700 delegates from nearly 60 countries....

The Budapest conference framed the challenges for cyberspace as finding the right balances. It explored issues such as finding the balance between the claims for free online expression and association against the need to protect people online from terrorism and crime. Furthermore, it arrived at the need to have openness, creativity and absence of borders in cyberspace while realizing the challenges that are also prevalent in cyberspace.

As an outcome, the conference delved to set the relationship between internet rights and internet security.

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GCSS in Seoul, 2013

The third edition of GCCS was held in Seoul, South Korea. For the first time, GCCS had massive participation from the South Asian countries. The 3rd Conference focused on Open and Secure Cyberspace with participation from 1600 delegates from around 87 countries....

The themes and discussions from past events at London and Budapest were deliberated upon in the third edition. The main themes of the conference were Economic Growth and Development, Social and Cultural Benefits, a Safe and Secure Cyberspace, Cybercrime and International Security. The conference saw participation from research and private institutions and thus, the large audience increased the requirement to discuss a new theme: Capacity Building in Cyberspace.

The most important outcome of this conference was the Seoul Framework for and Commitment to Open and Secure Cyberspace, a comprehensive document that summarized the discussions in the international community and provided a way forward for future dialogue`s. The Framework stated that international law must be applied to cyberspace and offered guidelines for governments and international organisations on coping with cybercrime and cyber war. It highlighted the importance of boosting internet access, particularly for developing countries, and also for education, innovation, economic development and to ensure a free flow of information.

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The Hague

GCSS in The Hague, 2015

The fourth GCCS event was held in The Hague, Netherlands in 2015. The theme of GCCS 2015 was Freedom, Security and Growth. Nearly 1800 members from about 100 countries participated in this conference and over 60 countries participated with delegations led at the Ministerial level....

While the earlier conferences discussed aspects of Freedom and Security in the cyberspace, The Hague conference proposed Growth as an important pillar to enhance focus on development and sustainability.

The conference saw participation from governments, international organizations, private sector companies, civil society organisations and academic institutions. As a priority, civil sector was encouraged to participate and get involved in the discussions during the sessions. In this regard, a pre-event for civil society participants was also planned that comprised of a capacity building session and a strategic planning session. A series of webinars were also held in the run-up to the event.

Some of the important topics that were discussed during the event were – militarizing the internet, mass surveillance, export controls, new capacity building forum Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), and Internet engineering: Human rights and internet protocols.

The main outcome of the fourth conference in The Hague was the launch of the GFCE by 42 governments, intergovernmental organizations and companies. It was a multi-stakeholder initiative in which GFCE members presented ten capacity building initiatives which were proposed to be developed under the purview of the GFCE.

The Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) is envisaged as a global platform that contributes to cyber capacity building. It aims to match “countries that lack knowledge in certain cyber areas” with knowledge and expertise of countries and companies with more experience in cyber matters. A political declaration that emphasizes the need for more capacity building, exchanges of best practices and strengthens international cooperation is also expected to be adopted.

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