Guarding the Digital Realm: The Imperative for Internet Governance

File:Online harassment of women journalists.png” by UNESCO is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Introduction: In the 21st century, the internet has become an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing the way we communicate, study, and work. However, with this digital transformation has come a new frontier of challenges and vulnerabilities. As our reliance on the digital realm deepens, the need for effective internet governance becomes increasingly urgent. In this era of interconnected devices, social networks, and global data flows, ensuring the security, privacy, and stability of the internet is paramount. It is only by witnessing more incidents of cyber insecurity that we can draw lessons and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of governance.This article discuss the critical need for comprehensive internet governance and explores the evolving landscape of cyber threats, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding this digital realm for the well-being of individuals, organizations, and societies worldwide.

Data protection and privacy rights

The University of Sydney (USYD) revealed a data breach at a third-party service provider that exposed personal information of recent international applicants. The breach seems isolated to one platform and hasn’t affected local students, staff, or alumni. It’s unclear when the breach occurred or the targeted service. USYD is determining the accessed data and providing support to affected individuals. While there’s no evidence of misuse, students are urged to follow guidance on the university’s web page and report suspicious communications. Other universities, like the University of Michigan and the University of Manchester, have also faced recent cybersecurity incidents, emphasizing the need for vigilance.

Online hate speech and harassment

Hana Kimura, a bright star in the Japanese professional wrestling scene and a notable figure on the Netflix reality show “Terrace House: Tokyo 2019–2020,” was tragically more than just a talented athlete and entertainer. Born on September 3, 1997, her life story became a grim testament to the lethal potential of online hate speech, harassment, and cyberbullying.

After a particular incident on “Terrace House,” she became the target of severe online backlash. The weight of this unrelenting cyberbullying and the vitriol directed towards her is believed to have contributed to her heart-wrenching decision to end her life on May 23, 2020.

Hana’s tragic passing is a somber reminder that the digital sphere is not just a void where words are thrown without consequence. Every tweet, comment, or message carries weight, especially when directed at individuals who are already under the public microscope. It underscores the dire need for comprehensive internet governance, fostering a digital environment where individuals can engage safely without the threat of undue harm and where cyberbullying and hate speech are promptly addressed and curtailed.

Internet security and cybercrime

In May 2017, the WannaCry ransomware struck globally, affecting over 150 countries. This cybercrime, exploiting unpatched Windows vulnerabilities, encrypted data, demanding Bitcoin ransoms. Not just personal devices, but hospitals and businesses were paralyzed, emphasizing stark gaps in internet security. Such breaches underline the critical importance of robust internet governance, ensuring safety against evolving cyber threats.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

 Zoey Chen, Ruoyu Xiong, Zhiyuan He, Jiacheng Lu, Rex Yau