2021 KGRI Working Papers

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Society-Centric Cyber Conflict
Understanding its dynamics and potential in East-Asia

No.1 Tobias BURGERS and David J. FARBER

August, 2021

This paper discusses the recent and worrisome increase in cyber-attacks that target critical infrastructure. We argue it is essential to better understand these attacks and their impact. By providing an analytical framework, we measure the impact of such attacks and argue that attacks with societal impacts trigger a new form of cyber conflict which we define as society-centric cyber conflict (S3C). We argue that in S3C, we must better understand the societal dimension of cyber conflict: It is necessary to understand a) the societal impact of cyber-attacks and b) societal reactions to the impact of such attacks, and c) how societal reactions could influence the dynamics of cyber conflict. We argue that these variables are specifically crucial in understanding the escalation dynamics in cyber conflict.

Highlighting the lack of data on societal impact and reactions, we provide a methodological approach to gather much-needed data and make a case for further research on S3C - in specific in the Asian-Pacific region where we believe the significant potential for S3C exist with implications for regional cybersecurity dynamics and (broader) security relations.


Joint Statement: "Toward a Wholesome Platform for Speech: Digital Diet Declaration" (ver. 1.0)

No.2 Fujio TORIUMI and Tatsuhiko YAMAMOTO

January, 2022

We believe that fake news (disinformation) and the "infodemic" (too much information during a disease outbreak) represent grave social illnesses that can even threaten people's lives. Underlying this is the fact that the "diets" of information that the internet's development has produced are typified by overconsumption and unbalanced selectivity. Accordingly, we have arrived at a shared awareness that "information health"--that is to say, an awareness as both individuals and as a society of what is an appropriate balance of information--is extremely important. This joint declaration compiles the results of having investigated from an interdisciplinary perspective what sorts of initiatives are ought to be pursued for the various stakeholders involved, including the operators of digital platforms, to achieve this information health.

This statement is absolutely a preliminary version (version 1.0). We hope to solicit opinions from researchers and stakeholders in various fields in the future and revise the content accordingly.