Members of the third group, which Levin terms “Commonwealth of independent states”, say they believe in regulating and controlling cyber crime, yet they have to do so on their own, without help or interference – depending on one’s view – from other countries. Russia and China are in that group.
“It’s the same dynamic as we have in international affairs,” said Levin. “We see also a shift in terms of documents. There is more emphasis on preparing for cyber war as opposed to cyber crime. Cyber war is an effort by a group or another country. There’s more concern about protecting critical national infrastructure, and less concern about what individuals are concerned about – hijacked computers, malware, and credit card and identity theft.”
The issues keep changing, making them difficult to stay on top of. The UK for example keeps revisiting the issue, and keeps trying new approaches.
It also doesn’t help that governments aren’t familiar with the terms – cloud for example. The language of technology hasn’t always been clear or helpful.
Cyber crosses boundaries. Law is locally enforced. Normally when a country adjusts it does so with a country similar to itself, cooperating with a country that has similar language and common law. Some countries aren’t interested in law enforcement personnel from other countries accessing their data.
“The UK and USA are leading, and I think Canada wants to be on par,” Levin said. “From looking at what other countries are doing, the Anglo countries very much see Canada as part of their group. As an academic, I wish Canada could build a bridge to those other countries.”
A point of distinction inside the Anglo group is that the UK and USA emphasize the for-profit role, believing there is much expertise to be tapped. The Canadian government wants to include academics and the public sector.