Balancing Freedom, Security in Cyberspace

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  • TEMPO.CO, Stockholm - Reconciling internet freedom alongside the need to maintain security was the main topic of the second Stockholm Internet Forum taking place in Sweden's capital of Stockholm, on Wednesday, May 22.

    Governments have a right and a duty to defend and to protect its citizens. But it must be done in accordance with and under the law," said Swedish Foreign Minister in his opening address at the forum. He added that there was a risk and a concern that the security of the internet would be at the expense of its freedom.  "There is more reason to be extra alert in this age of accelerating globalization and emerging hyper connectivity."

    By 2017, it is estimated that 90 percent of the world's population will have 3G broadband coverage, and by 2018, mobile telephone subscriptions are expected to reach 6.6 billion, with global mobile data traffic set to grow 12 times between 2012 and 2018, according to a report by Ericsson, Arthur D. little and Chalmers University of Technology in 33 OECD countries in 2011.

    While the Internet has brought positive changes for the most part, there has also been increasing concern over cyber security, such as the effects of a possible cyber war but more realistically, the concern with the rapid rise of cyber crime. Discussions among panelists focused on the definition of security, for whom and against what, and how to balance between the need to take measures against security breaches without sacrificing the freedoms, such as the right to information and transparency.

    The forum also raised the issue of the Internet and development, such as how to maximize the impact of access of information to raise the welfare of the poor and the marginalized.

    The two-day conference was attended by participants from 94 countries, comprising  a  mix of policy makers, civil society members,  activists, business and technical community representatives, including six delegates from Indonesia.

     

    YULI ISMARTONO