Last month, Prof. Hiro Miyazaki, anthropology, and Keigo Komamura, vice president of Keio University in Tokyo, signed a partnership agreement to collaborate on the social, legal, political and technical dimensions of cybersecurity, beginning a “global conversation.”
“We think that worldwide, everywhere, universities are all squeezed — both financially and politically,” Miyazaki told The Sun. “So instead of competing, we should actually work together and start sharing resources.”
Miyazaki said that cybersecurity is a topic that affects domestic and international society and emphasized the need for interdisciplinary action, which is one of his main priorities as director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.
“It’s really a socio-technical issue, and oftentimes our individual citizens’ lack of attention to cybersecurity often opens up opportunities for attackers to come in,” Miyazaki said. “It’s not just an issue of corporate or even national cybersecurity, but it’s individual attention that actually plays a role. It’s something that calls for broad, interdisciplinary action.”
Although Miyazaki and Komamura work on opposite sides of the world in different institutions, they have the same goals of “building collaborative relationships across disciplinary, institutional, linguistic and national borders,” according to the Cornell Chronicle, which is run by the University.
Miyazaki and Komamura were brought together at a two-day workshop at Cornell on privacy and surveillance that explored topics from internet censorship to conceptions of privacy across countries, according to The Chronicle release.
“[Komamura] and I have been discussing ways for the two universities to work together for some time … if we were to become a truly global university, we have to start working together in a much more substantive way than just simply through student exchanges or faculty exchanges. We have to actually start sharing resources in a deep way,” Miyazaki said.
Keio University is one of the first partners in this Einaudi Center project, and Miyazaki said that one of the main obstacles could be communication.
“One biggest challenge is language … and also the people involved in the collaboration on the side of Keio and and the side of Cornell are all busy people. Keio faculty are capable of writing things in English, but it will take some time,” Miyazaki told The Sun.
In addition, he said that communication barriers could extend beyond linguistic challenges to different cultural perceptions of the issue.
“Policy conversations about cyber issues and also about other issues are still very strongly formulated within a national framework – here … and Japan, too,” Miyazaki said. “That can be a challenge, how to open that policy conversation and [to] have a truly global conversation.”