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Evidence in Internet governance: measurement and data-mining

Page history last edited by Mary Murphy 8 years, 2 months ago




Moderator: Vladimir Radunovic, DiploFoundation and GIP
Aaron Boyd, Chief Strategy Officer, ABI Research
Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, Editor of Global Innovation Index & Senior Economist, WIPO

Eliot Lear, Principal Engineer, CISCO Systems

Kavé Salamatian, Professor, University of Savoie, France





Although the Internet is an engineering artifact, we do not have sufficient technical data of relevance for Internet governance. For example, one of the major problems in cybersecurity is the lack of data about threats and losses. Policy-makers and, increasingly a more engaged general public,  are looking for data such as: the impact of digital innovation on economic growth; the quantity of digital assets and their distribution worldwide, etc. The session will focus on three main issues:

  • Mapping of available data and measurement of relevance for IG
  • Survey of data and measurement for specific issues. 
  • Techniques and approaches to improve evidence and measurement of relevance for IG.


Background: Cognitive technologies: mapping the Internet governance debate by Goran S. Milovanović provides a simple explanation of what cognitive technologies are and presents an example of applied cognitive science (text‑mining) in the mapping of the Internet governance debate.


Session notes


‘More than defining the tools to measure data, it is important to know what you want to collect and why’


Moderated by Vladimir Radunović from DiploFoundation, this session dealt with the problems of measurements and evidence. Although the Internet is an engineering artifact, we do not have sufficient technical data of relevance for IG. For example, one of the major problems in cybersecurity is the lack of data about threats and losses. Policymakers and, increasingly a more engaged general public, are looking for data such as the impact of digital innovation on economic growth; the quantity of digital assets and their distribution worldwide, etc.  During this workshop we tried to find the measurements that are useful for policy-making, to stress the evidence that we need and the different fields on which we should focus. We looked at the data available and discussed the need of being prepared for everything, even for the things that ‘we don’t know that we don’t know’.


Sacha Wunsch-Vincent, Editor of Global Innovation Index & Senior Economist, at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), opened the discussion with a question: ‘Do we have the proper concept and framework of measurement in IG?’ What we already do in statistics is traffic measurement, consumer protection and security. Wunsch-Vincent’s proposal is to reintegrate official statistics from entities like WIPO and not to stay focused on publicly supplied statistics. Reinforcements of statistics data have to be made in the fields of infrastructure (not only traffic, but access, price, number of subscribers, etc.); measuring the ICT industries (revenues, employment, etc.); access and use of the Internet (by increasing the knowledge and understanding notion of value and flows between the actors). Wunsch-Vincent’s wish list included having a better concept of the contribution of the Internet economy, greater openness of the Internet and obtaining more data on online creativity. To conclude, he offered a future vision in which Amazon, eBay, etc., were in contact with international organisations to see how they can work for example with OSCD, WIPO, etc., to match the data.


Aaron Boyd, Chief Strategy Officer from ABI Research, discussed the cooperation of ABI Research with the ITU in the field of cybersecurity that started three years ago. This cooperation seems to be complementary and fruitful as the ITU has the will and ABI Research has the expertise. They are now three weeks from announcing global results of the research in cybersecurity as well as regional ones that were collected from 103 countries. Boyd told us that overall it worked well. He discussed the cooperation between private sector and international organisations, the links between political mechanisms and technical data.


Talking about expectations, Boyd put forward the fact that for the moment it is very difficult to imagine the cybersecurity capabilities globally as, on one hand, governments don’t want to share the information; on the other, some countries suffer from insufficient technical capabilities. He finished by stressing the main challenge of the field of cybersecurity: ‘We don’t know who knows what we need to know.’


Eliot Lear, Principal Engineer, CISCO Systems, started by reminding that he is not a researcher, nor a statistician, but an engineer! He therefore is usually asked to provide advices. A recent survey says that Americans have lost some confidence in the Internet, another one which came out today (11.19.2014) stated that people are more afraid of the use of data by Google than by secret services. How can confidence on the Internet be restored or enhanced? It is still an open question.


Before collecting data collection, there is one question we should ask ourselves: ‘What do we want to collect?’ And answering this is not a guarantee of obtaining good results. For example, in 2012 a group of researchers attempted to calculate losses from cybercrimes by collecting data on defense cost, indirect cost and direct cost, but they were unable to calculate indirect cost.


Kavé Salamatian, Professor from the University of Savoie in France, provided his academic point of view on the issue. His daily work deals with statistical analysis of measurements so that he is familiar with the topic discussed. Internet measurements are a relatively new topic that started to develop at the end of the twentieth century when the need for global measurement became apparent. As any other measurement, it passes through three stages: observation, getting expertise, and developing methodology. In the case of Internet measurement it is particularly difficult as actors (companies, governments) don’t want to share the information, and they have economic reasons for that. That’s why we often have to guess while doing measurements on cybersecurity or other related issues. Salamatian finished by stressing a big challenge for the future of the Internet: we need to make more transparency if we don’t want the Internet to be fragmented.


The 25 participants divided in three groups and debates reached a high technical level with a variety of interests.

  • Traffic: Many precise questions came out and showed a great need for enlightenment; web-people want to know what happens behind the screen.
  • Security: The remote hub in Pakistan came up with three more questions to the already numerous one from the workshop. Bank, insurances, multinational companies, etc., are on the front line, they have everything to lose if they lose confidence.
  • Innovation: Six clusters were defined: measuring digital content and creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation funding, e-government, Net neutrality, policy barriers, and openness.

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