IGF 2022 WS #361 Navigating the age of hybrid warfare

Organizer 1: John Hering, Microsoft
Organizer 2: Raman Jit Singh Chima, Access Now

Speaker 1: Baiba Kaskina, Government, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: Liesyl Franz, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Tony Anscombe, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Kaja Ciglic, Private Sector, Eastern European Group


Raman Jit Singh Chima, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

John Hering, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


John Hering, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Round Table - Circle - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. What are the roles and responsibilities of governments, industry and civil society when there are cyberattacks amid an armed conflict, and what new forms of partnership are needed to protect civilian infrastructure in the face of hybrid warfare?
2. What kind of multistakeholder cooperation is needed in the diplomatic sphere to promote stability and security in in a new domain of conflict with so many overlapping responsibilities?
3. What are the key considerations that should govern offensive operations in cyberspace in an armed conflict?

Connection with previous Messages: The session will further advance the discussion around specific key messages from the 2021 IGF (below) related to developing and implementing cyber norms to promote peace and security online, and the importance of rethinking multistakeholder cooperation in the process. The workshop will, in particular, seek to follow up on the message related to encouraging the multistakeholder community to take the opportunity to contribute to and participate in the United Nations Open Ended Working Group dialogues on cybersecurity.

• The development and implementation of cyber norms should include the views of all stakeholders (including victims, first responders, and frontline defenders) and address meaningfully their needs and responsibilities. Processes need to be based on research and analysis which include these communities.
• Different forums, at the UN and beyond, need to have distinct roles, but multiple dialogues are not necessarily a bad thing. The multistakeholder community should take advantage of the upcoming opportunities, to contribute to and participate in the new OEWG dialogues on cybersecurity. The IGF may need to have an expanded role in facilitating either implementation or multistakeholder inclusion in cyber dialogues at UN.
• It is too early to celebrate cyber norms; they must be implemented! An effective implementation, e.g. through Security by Design, must respect core basic principles such as openness and decentralisation that have made the success of the Internet.
• Neutrality holds significant potential as a force for stability in cyberspace and - in times of lively global discussions - can advance the understanding of key conditions for implementing rules of responsible behaviour. Greater clarity about state views, which have been the traditional focus under the law of neutrality, has the capacity to create safe spaces for non-state actors that assist vulnerable groups.


16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Targets: The use of cyber operations in an armed conflict raises concerns related to SDG16 on Peace Justice and Strong Institutions.


The Russian invasion and subsequent war in Ukraine marks the first real example of large-scale hybrid warfare. Cyber operations are taking place in close coordination with kinetic operations and the first acts of aggression in the wonflict were cyberattacks. As a result, industry and other stakeholders have had to play unique roles alongside and in cooperation with governments to defend against attacks online and to promote cyber resiliency amid an armed conflict. As with other revolutions in military affairs, the implications of this new age of hybrid warfare are far reaching and require new considerations of roles and responsibilities to avoid unnecessary harms. This panel discussion at the Internet Governance Forum 2022 will feature expert speakers from across stakeholder groups with unique insights – including representatives from foreign ministries, human rights defenders and technology firms defending against attacks in Ukraine, as well as government incident response leaders.

Structured as a roundtable discussion, the workshop will also leverage the expertise of the IGF community in attendance. Following brief opening remarks from the featured experts, an open discussion, facilitated by the onsite and online moderators, will allow those attending from across the IGF community to share their perspectives and ask probing questions of others in attendance to drive the discussion. These contributions will help the roundtable explore how stakeholders can work together to discourage reckless cyberattacks that put innocent civilians at risk, and to promote stability and security in a new digital domain of conflict. Areas of consensus surfaced in the roundtable will then serve as the basis for a multistakeholder statement to serve as a contribution to the United Nations Open Ended Working Group dialogue on cybersecurity.

Expected Outcomes

The workshop will kickstart the development of a multistakeholder statement to be submitted as a contribution to the United Nation’s Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on security of and in the use of information and communications technologies. This will be a timely and valuable contribution to the OEWG’s deliberations, focused on how international norms and rules should apply to cyber operations in an armed conflict. The insights and learnings from the session will serve as the basis to begin developing the statement in cooperation with others from the IGF community.

Hybrid Format: The featured expert speakers at the roundtable will be distributed between onsite and online participants, ensuring that an exchange between those in the room and those attending virtually will be a core component of the workshop. The onsite and online moderators will ensure a balance of participation in the roundtable dialogue from those attending the workshop in-person and remotely. This will include requiring that there are a roughly equal numbers of questions and contributions from those attending virtually as well as remotely. In addition, to support accessibility and full inclusion of remote participants who may be unable to be on camera or vocalize their contributions, the online moderator will be responsible for monitoring the chat and Q&A functions on the platform and vocalizing those contributions for those in the room.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool.