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U.S. politics remains convulsed by the aftermath of Russian cyber interference in the 2016 election. Are cyber-attacks the wave of the future, or can norms be developed to control international cyber conflict?We can learn from the history of the nuclear age. It took states about two decades to reach the first cooperative agreements in the nuclear era.Instead, the U.S., Russia, and 13 other states agreed that the U.N. secretary-general should appoint a Group of Governmental Experts, which first met in 2004 .The GGE process has limitations.According to one diplomat who has been central to the process, some 70 countries have expressed interest in participating.Whereas some states hope to revive the GGE process or enlarge it into a broader U.N. process, others are skeptical, and believe that future progress will be limited to discussions among like-minded states, rather than leading to universal agreements.Norms that may be ripe for discussion outside the GGE process could include protected status for the core functions of the Internet; supply-chain standards and liability for the Internet of Things; treatment of election processes as protected infrastructure; and, more broadly, norms for issues such as crime and information warfare.
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