UPDATES WITH REMARKS OF OTHER SPEAKERS; CHANGES SPOT; MINOR EDITS THROUGHOUT
By Gozde Bayar
ISTANBUL (AA) - The third Bosphorus International Conference on Cyberpolitics, Cybersecurity and International Relations kicked off on Friday in Istanbul.
The four-day conference, organized annually by the Cyberpolitik Journal, has hosted various cyber security experts and academics from different countries to discuss the latest trends and innovations.
"We are moving through something totally different than previous stages," Bilal Sambur said in the opening speech, arguing that humanity was in the midst of a "cyber revolution".
Sambur, who co-chairs Cyberpolitik, said the cyber revolution would bring many developments, including artificial intelligence and nanotechnology.
Though humans are currently the fundamental actors and creators of cyber space, robots will make their debut soon, he claimed.
He highlighted that cyber technology and its impacts were not solely issues of governments or computer engineers, but also of those who think about the future of humankind.
- Cyber space: the 5th domain
Murat Tumay, a law professor at Istanbul’s Medeniyet University, said that cyber space has been gradually dominating social life.
"Following the land, sea, air and space, cyber space is the fifth domain," said Tumay.
While cyber space brought opportunities as well as threats, he asserted that the positive outweighed the negative and that people could not give up being online.
"Cyber security is a team sport. We need to fight the dark side all together," Tumay said, urging all stakeholders, including governments, individuals and organizations, to act collectively.
Conference chair Nezir Akyesilmen said all countries were at risk of cyber attack, stressing that cyber space was "anarchic in nature".
"No one can control cyber space, [not] even the U.S.," said Akyesilmen, pointing out that the U.S. was the most attacked country in the world.
He added that a globally binding international agreement has yet to be reached.
Although governments have been trying to ensure the security of cyber space, Akyesilmen said that it lacked any boundaries.
Also speaking at the event, Gozde Bayar, a graduate student of international affairs, discussed the issues of cyber peace and digital citizenship.
Bayar said that neither parents nor teachers could completely control how students use technology.
Arguing that "digital citizenship" classes should be added to curriculums, Bayar described the digital citizen as someone who "has the knowledge and skills to effectively use technology and communicate with others."
She said it is important for teachers to lecture students about the legal consequences of their online activities.
A person’s online behavior constitutes his "digital footprints," Bayar added.
- China, Russia, US lead cyber space
Mentioning the key players of the cyper space, Ismail Ermagan, a Medeniyet University academic, said at least 30 countries try to strengthen their own capacity and dominate the cyber space.
Ermagan also said that the U.S., China and Russia lead the cyber space with their cyber defense and attack powers.
China developed a unique strategy which the government can intervene in cyber space and impose restrictions, the international relations professor added.
China feels uncomfortable about the U.S. supremacy in the cyber domain, he asserted.
Ermagan also said that Georgia, Estonia and Belarus are developing investment policies in cyber related issues.
Speaking about the Russian Internet Research Agency based in St. Petersburg, also dubbed as troll center, he said that the center is accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign in the U.S.
Also addressing the event, Demet Sefika Mangir, an academic from central Konya’s Selcuk University, said that cyber security is an agenda item of the Russian foreign policy and the country aimed to avoid the abuse of terrorists and convicts.
She asserted that there is a rivalry between the U.S. and Russia in terms of cyber issues.
Being accused of many cyber attacks, Russia aims to carry out its objectives at the global level by increasing its regional strength, she added.
She warned that it is important not to use cyber space as a military instrument.