G20 Countries

The growth of the cyberspace has become something that nobody, no organization, or even any government of the nations on this world can look over. It does not only play the role in communication but now it is clearly seen that Internet also plays the great role in the world’s economy, and this should be the issue that the Group of Twenty (G20), who is the premier forum for international cooperation on the most important issues of the global economic and financial agenda, concerned themselves with. According to Melissa E. Hathaway, the author of the article ‘Change the Conversation, Change the Venue and Change Our Future’, she gave suggestions on why and how the G20 should take the economic cyberspace into consideration.

She pointed out that nowadays people tend to rely on the internet more and more that we can see many activities and services have the ‘e’ letter put in front of them for example: e-books, e-banking, e-government, e-voting, or even e-health. That shows how much today people get themselves involved with Internet. And because of those activities, it was mentioned by Hathaway that ‘in some countries, the Internet contributes up to eight percent of gross domestic product (GDP)’ and that is not a simple number at all. There actually are further facts which show how much the world economy is influenced by Internet, for instance; it was assumed that about 2.5 million jobs of G20 lost to piracy and counterfeiting, or in the UK it was shown that they are losing 27 Pound sterling each year to cybercriminals. These facts, as mentioned by Hathaway, make ‘many governments now realize that their GDP growth is being eroded by a wide range of nefarious cyber activities.’

This has put some countries to find the way ‘to control’ the internet, since they cannot suppose to loose their grounds. But for Hathaway, seeing through all these, she suggested that Russia, who has the G20’s presidency, should grab this opportunity to leave marks and bring this into discussion. As for Brazil, which will take the role to host the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympic Games, in Hathaway’s opinion; ‘taking practical steps for adding cyber security to many tracks of the current G20 program, including:

  • Providing facilities such High-speed Internet to increase economic growth. Agenda Item: Development for All.
  • Support the Financial Stability Board with an information sharing forum for banks to be able to defend themselves from bad cyber activities. Agenda item:  Strengthening Financial Regulation.
  • Strengthening the development of multilateral trade by limiting e-crimes. Agenda item:  Enhancing Multilateral Trade.

With those Hathaway saw that ‘this approach would enable the G20 to de-escalate the militarization and balkanization of the Internet.’ Moreover, it seemed that this can proceed ‘changing the dynamics between the United States and China, and changing the conversation from attack and war to economic well-being and GDP growth’ and ‘as the main economic council of wealthy nations, the G20 is the right venue to move forward’ said Hathaway.