IGF 2019 WS #131 Quantifying Peace and Conflict in Cyberspace

Organizer 1: Serge Stroobants, Institute for Economics and Peace
Organizer 2: Praveen Abhayaratne, National American University, Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Security
Organizer 3: Trust Mamombe, Institute for Economics and Peace
Organizer 4: Maciej Surowiec, Microsoft

Speaker 1: Izabela Albrycht, Government, Eastern European Group
Speaker 2: Praveen Abhayaratne, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 3: Marilia Maciel, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Liga Rozentale, Private Sector, Eastern European Group
Speaker 5: Trust Mamombe, Civil Society, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

How can data on cyber peace help inform policymaking? What publicly available data sources exist to measure the levels of peace in cyberspace? What are the indicators and elements needed for contributing to peace in cyberspace? What role can civil society, SMEs and the tech industry have in creating more peace in cyberspace?

Relevance to Theme: Safety and security in cyberspace are prerequisites to economic growth and a healthy digital ecosystem for all users, governments, businesses, civil society and academics alike. Under this theme, strategies for mitigating the risks and strengthening security will be addressed through the lens of data-backed approaches to quantifying the impacts to conflict in cyberspace. An accurate diagnosis is the basis for an effective policy response – and yet, to date, limited progress has been made on accurately measuring the impact of cyber conflict and corresponding potential for cyber peace on society.

Relevance to Internet Governance: This session will help create more accuracy in diagnosing the state of conflict in cyberspace by gathering data on the indicators that feed into peace in cyberspace. This diagnosis will ultimately help feed into the development of rules, norms and principles to help shape the future of cyberspace.


Other - 60 Min
Format description: This session will merge the “tutorial” and “roundtable” formats in order to adapt to a topic of a policy pitch. The session will begin with the tutorial in which the Institute for Economics and Peace will do a deep dive on how their organization creates the Global Peace Index, their findings for 2018, and how the findings help inform policymakers around the world. Next, the session will move into a moderated roundtable discussion once participants have the baseline understanding of data and economic analysis for peace.

Description: Instability in cyberspace is rising with the increasing number of countries and non-state actors weaponizing technology. Today, the threats posed by cyber-attacks have the potential to disrupt everything from critical infrastructure, to elections, to the societal structures of our everyday lives. Despite the fact that cybersecurity touches news headlines and diplomatic agendas around the world, there has been limited progress on understanding the impact of conflict in cyberspace on the functioning of society. Moreover, even less is understood regarding the relationship and interdependencies between business, peace, prosperity, culture, economy and politics in cybersecurity. Efforts to measure peace, such as the index compiled annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), allows us to assess the social, political, and economic factors that create peace. Over the past several years, progress has been made in measuring the various indicators associated with violence, conventional weapons proliferation, crime and armed conflict, which has helped governments make more informed decisions regarding public policies. An accurate diagnosis is the basis for an effective policy response – and yet, to date, limited progress has been made on accurately measuring the impact of cyber conflict on society. For example, Northern and Western Europe often appear at the top of the lists in rankings of peaceful countries, how would those rankings differ if measured only on their levels of cyber peace? Panelists will discuss efforts such as the Diplo Foundation’s Data Diplomacy project and the IEP’s framework of measuring Positive Peace, which describes the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin and sustain peaceful societies. Drawing from the various data-backed approaches to public policy, this panel will discuss what is needed to create and measure Positive Peace in cyberspace. The conversation is intended to bring together experts on peace and cybersecurity to exchange views and reflect on the opportunities for quantifying peace in cyberspace in order to better inform policy decisions. Proposed agenda - Tutorial: Using open source data to quantify global peace (10 minutes) o How to measure peace o Findings from the 2018 Global Peace Index - Roundtable discussion: How to measure peace in cyberspace (30 minutes) o Trends in cyber conflict today o Data indicators for cyber conflict, from cyber crime to development of cyber weapons to the prevalence of legislative and institutional frameworks on cyberecurity o What role can civil society, SMEs and the tech industry have in creating more peace in cyberspace? - Open Mic Session (10 minutes) - Conclusion: What is the path forward towards creating an index for measuring peace and conflict in cyberspace? (10 minutes)

Expected Outcomes: This workshop is designed to provide input into the existing data sources and identify remaining gaps that contribute to the lack of understanding around the quantifiable impact of threats in cyberspace. The panelists will discuss the benefit of a global cyber peace index and how its findings may or may not differ from mappings of global peace against traditional forms of conflict.

Onsite Moderator: 

Serge Stroobants, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator: 

Maciej Surowiec, Private Sector, Eastern European Group


Maciej Surowiec, Private Sector, Eastern European Group

Discussion Facilitation: 

An open mic session follows the main session to enable the audience and remote participants to join the conversation and present their experiences, opinions, suggestions, etc., on how to move the debate forward. Audience discussants will either queue at their stakeholder-assigned mics, or the panel rapporteurs will bring the mics to discussants, and rotate, with online participants having their own equal queue.

Online Participation: 

We will have two online moderators to assist with the online conversation. To broaden participation, social media (Twitter and Facebook) will also be employed by the on-line moderators who will be in charge of browsing social media using a designated hashtag.

Proposed Additional Tools: We would also like to offer an additional accessible platform in order to get more involvement from remote participants, especially those who might have a disability. Microsoft Teams, for example could be offered as a place for additional discussion before and after the panel through setting up a dedicated Teams channel for the panel. Using Microsoft Teams during the panel would enable us to turn on accessible features such as screen readers, translator and captions.


GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals