IGF 2021 WS #260 Internet resilience towards a renewed resilience for society

Thursday, 9th December, 2021 (14:05 UTC) - Thursday, 9th December, 2021 (15:35 UTC)
Conference Room 6

Organizer 1: Samih Souissi, Arcep
Organizer 2: Lucien M. CASTEX, AFNIC
Organizer 3: Rayna Stamboliyska, RS Strategy

Speaker 1: Rayna Stamboliyska, Private Sector, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: BERNAT Laurent, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Jean-Jacques Sahel, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Julien Rossi, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Additional Speakers

Speakers :

Speaker 1: Eglé Vasiliauskaite, Lithuania, Governement, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: Ghislain de Salins, OCDE, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Jean-Jacques Sahel, Asia-Pacific Information Policy Lead, Google, Private Sector, Asia Pacific
Speaker 4: Marco Hogewoning, RIPE-NCC, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Lucien M. CASTEX, Technical Community, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Samih Souissi, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Boris Gartner, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - U-shape - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Cybersecurity practices and mechanisms: What are the good cybersecurity practices and international mechanisms that already exist? Where do those mechanisms fall short and what can be done to strengthen the security and to reinforce the trust?
Ensuring a safe digital space: How should governments, Internet businesses and other stakeholders protect citizens, including vulnerable citizens, against online exploitation and abuse?

- Internet resilience as a key part of the global resilience of society

- Impact of regulatory developments on internet evolution


9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: Internet resilience is as a key part of the global resilience of society hence fostering a more reliable and sustainable infrastructure. Understand the legislative development at local and global levels also contributes to SDG16, by promoting the rule of law, the transparency of institutions and protecting fundamental freedoms.


The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the essential role the internet has in our daily lives.

Lockdown measures that most countries have put in place illustrate the need and necessity for all citizens to stay connected to their professional, personal and cultural environment from their homes. This shift in many uses within homes has led to a sharp increase in traffic, by 30% during the first lockdown in Europe for example[1]. Despite this noticeable increase in traffic, networks have held up and the internet has proven to be resilient. The Internet has above all been shown to be vital and has allowed us to continue to have a social, professional and academic life.

Nevertheless, the Internet is not a rigid entity, and its architecture is constantly evolving. This development can be explained by the evolution of internet uses or by technological considerations. In fact, on the one hand the role and the power of some important content providers (Google, Facebook, Netflix, etc.) is being witnessed within the internet ecosystem which may make us wonder about the sovereignty of states in this context. On the other hand, with the advent of new technologies like IoT and 5G, the internet should take into consideration new paradigms in order to guarantee the resiliency, security and sovereignty over these technologies.

Internet evolution can be explained also by legislative and regulatory developments. If we take into consideration the European Union for example, nowadays, in the context of political drive towards a digital transformation of the society and a support for digital innovation, and in the light of current legislative reforms for example the one that are taking place in the EU, e.g. the discussions about an EU strategy for Cybersecurity with the NIS2 Directive. So, what impact may these legislations have on internet actors including end-users? How are those co-regulation developments linked to a growing trend to ‘digital sovereignty’?

Besides, in some extreme cases, legislative development done by local or national authorities can go against end-users’ freedom and Open Internet values by taking a certain control of internet access through blocking or shutdowns for example. By responding locally to local constraints or issues, some legislators may impact the resilience of the internet.

Guaranteeing the resilience of the internet is thus a collective responsibility and the mobilization of the different players in the ecosystem is necessary to preserve the internet and its core values.

[1] The Lockdown Effect: Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Internet Traffic, https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3419394.3423658

Additional speakers have been contacted and are still in the process of validation, including Mahsa Alimardani and Renata Avila.

Expected Outcomes

The workshop aims at discussing the resilience of the internet as a key building block of digital policies by considering both local and global levels. - At the end of the session, the moderator will engage in a discussion about the future of internet resilience and draw inputs from the discussion and key takeaways. - Achieve a discussion between key stakeholders and a shared understanding of policy issues - Understand the impact of internet related legislation on internet actors as well as on end-users

The workshop fits in several work streams of partner institutions, including French telecom regulator ARCEP’s report on the state of the internet 2020 and 2021 (ongoing) and a report, which analyses the industrial and regulatory issues entailed in the development of the Internet of Things (Afnic, ISN, 2021).

- Dissemination: a summary report will be published after the session in order to reach the wider community

- A follow-up session will also be organized at the regional level

We aim at facilitating an inclusive discussion among speakers (both onsite and online), audience members, and online participants.

In order to ensure the session format is used in the best possible manner:

1) The panel of experts will share their expertise and debate sitting in a roundtable format to facilitate an open discussion both online and onsite and take advantage of the hybrid format of 2021 IGF. The online and onsite moderators will open the discussion with a presentation of the rules of the panel and a strong focus on facilitating an hybrid participation. Considering the Covid-19 crisis, some of the speakers - as well as a number of attendees - will be online making it of key importance to facilitate an inclusive discussion among online and onsite participants.

- Questions from the public will be collected ahead of time as well as during the discussions and at least 30 minutes will be allowed for an interactive session of questions/comments from the audience.

2) The organizers will explore the use of visuals and interactive tools to animate the session and facilitate the discussion.

We will use the Slido app to increase audience interaction and engage the session’s participants. The tool allows for an easy way to manage polling, discussion trends and Q&A

3) Preparation: - Several preparatory calls will be organised for all speakers, moderators and co-organisers in advance of the workshop so that everyone has a chance to meet, share views and prepare for the session. - A preparatory session will also be organized during the French Internet Governance Forum which will be held in October 2021. - If need be, a preparatory session may also be organized during the Paris Peace Forum/Paris Call yearly edition in November 2021.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: - The organisers will actively promote the session (social media including a LinkedIn event and Twitter, organization websites)

- Slido app : to allow for a better interaction between online and face to face participants.

- Platform-agnostic icebreakers will occur to ensure participants feel equally involved in the discussions.