Scholars: the "breaking" and "standing" of the global cyberspace order

Scholars: the

Original title: Shen Yi: the "breaking" and "standing" of the global cyberspace order

Five years ago, the former employee of Edward Snowden's Central Intelligence Agency, with indisputable information, disclosed to the world the United States national security agency system, including the "prism", "upstream" and so on, to implement a global network space monitoring action. The target of action almost indiscriminately covers all countries other than the core allies, the members of the British and American intelligence exchange agreement, commonly known as the "five eye alliance", including both China and Russia, as well as Germany, which has recognized its close allies with the United States. As a typical technical geek, Snowden, as Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks website, tends to believe that he can reproduce the "Watergate" or the miracle of the The Pentagon file leak in the post Cold War world, that is, under the help of the media, the substantive twisting is recognized by the disclosure of confidential documents. National security actions that have damaged the core values of liberalism.

Monitoring has a long history

Five years have passed. In January 2018, the president of the United States, Trump, signed the documents approved by the two chambers of the United States Congress for approval and approval of the 2008 revised version 702nd of the United States foreign intelligence law for 6 years. This is the second extension of the 702nd clause since 2008. The last extension was in 2012, when Snowden disclosed the prism project one year ago. This clause is essential to support the institutional basis of such a system like "prism" and "upstream", and is the result of all kinds of forces in the United States since the game began in 1947.

In 1947, the United States National Security Agency (NSA) implemented a "three leaf grass action" in the absence of a clear authorization. It monitored 90% international telegrams in the United States at that time. The way was to copy all the messages in real time. In the 60s of last century, the United States Department of defense, the FBI and other agencies, relying on the "three leaf grass action", implemented the "spire action" to monitor thousands of well-known people in the United States to carry out civil rights movements or engage in sensitive activities to ensure that they are not foreign government funded agents.

In 70s, a series of actions such as "the three leaf grass action" came to the surface with the deep investigation of President Nixon's "Watergate incident" by the Qiu Qi Committee of the United States Congress. The U. S. Congress then tried to use the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Monitoring act to restrict the surveillance operations of the intelligence agency, requiring it to first obtain a search warrant from a secret foreign intelligence monitoring court before listening to the communication activities of American citizens (there was no Internet at that time). The search warrants must rely on the evidence obtained by non monitoring actions to prove that the United States citizens who need to be monitored are suspected of being foreign agents and constitute a national security threat.

In 2008, President George W. Bush, on the basis of monitoring terrorist activities and protecting national security, formally asked Congress to pass the amendment to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Monitoring law. The key is the 702nd clause, which is referred to as the "no search warrant control" clause. The provision was first extended in 2012 and extended for the second time in January 2018. Of course, Snowden revealed the impact of the prism door: the second extension of the amendment required the FBI to obtain a search warrant from the foreign intelligence tribunal in order to conduct network monitoring when it was required to investigate criminal cases that had nothing to do with national security.


In terms of capabilities and operational mechanisms, no matter how hard Snowden works, the ability of the US national security machines to strengthen cyberspace operations, including the strengthening of network monitoring, has never stopped.

The ability to attack and defend cyberspace in the United States has a long history. During the cold war, the national security agency of the United States has built up a global communication signal intelligence monitoring system named "Echelon". Before and after 2001, the system has a full platform for signal intelligence gathering capacity to deal with 1 billion communications every day. In addition to serving the national security needs of the United States, the system can occasionally lend its own enterprises to monitor commercial rivals and ensure the "fair trade environment" needed by the United States. In the global network space, the United States has formed and gradually improved the system capability including network attack, network defense, network utilization. "Prism" is the typical system of network utilization. In addition to the prism, the Internet freedom strategy, summarized by Hilary as secretary of state, is a strategic summary of the United States' ability to use the network to interfere in the political process of his country. In 2016, Hilary lost the election, which can be seen as a typical manifestation of the United States losing its monopoly advantage over related capabilities. "Eternal blue", the key component of the "crying" extortion software that ravaged the world in 2017, is one of the weapons used to implement network attacks in the United States related department network armaments. The Einstein system covering the key information system of the United States government is a partial display of the national defense power system in the United States.

The mechanism construction of the US cyberspace strategic framework has not slowed down since Snowden disclosed the prism. There was no divergence of opinion among the elites in the United States. Snowden's original assumption that the pressure of the American public prompted the government to change its scene did not appear. To a certain extent, as a result of the earlier shame cloth was stabbed by Snowden, the related construction was put on the table in a semi - public way, and thus greatly accelerated. The most typical is that the Department of defense of the US Department of defense has completed the whole process from setting up to promotion, laying a solid foundation for the United States to carry out relevant action in the cyberspace from the mechanism.

Governance needs to be innovated

Five years later, the global cyberspace has become a new field of strategic game for big powers. In contrast to Snowden, a technical Utopian imagination with a typical anarchic tendency, the objective reality of the global cyberspace is how to build and perfect a set of mechanisms and behavior norms adapting to the new situation as soon as the sovereign state has entered the country. In 2015, through the summit of the United States and the United States, a big country with a sense of international responsibility once demonstrated the possibility of creating new rules for International Governance in cyberspace by building effective cooperation. The 2016 global network domain name resolution root server, root file and root zone file system regulatory authority transfer, although there are significant flaws and defects, but the success of the program and form has also made the technological community excited.

But Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election, and the basic practice of carrying out its national security strategy after his election, is unrelentlessly reminded that it is far from enough to rely solely on Snowden's occasional behavior. To avoid the scene of "prism door", that is, the global cyberspace is in fact under the monitoring of a single hegemony, not only need countries, especially the emerging powers in the rapid enhancement of capacity building, in order to form an effective balance situation, but also need new ideas. In 2015, China proposed to follow the "four principles" and "five points" to build the community of cyberspace destiny, which is the most noteworthy positive progress of the five years. It also makes people have reason to be cautious and optimistic about the future of global cyberspace governance. In the future, the new global cyberspace order needs the responsible emerging powers to actively build new strategic mutual trust, bring new solutions, work together with all parties to prevent the irresponsible use of individual powers, and continue to substantially promote the construction and improvement of the new order of cyberspace governance and ensure the network empty. It will eventually become a booster for global sustainable development, rather than a strategic tool for a single superpower and its very few core allies. (the writer is director of cyberspace Governance Research Center, Fudan University)

Editor in responsibility: Zhang Yu

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