New article | The (im)possibilities of addressing election interference and the public core of the internet in the UN GGE and OEWG

New article | The (im)possibilities of addressing election interference and the public core of the internet in the UN GGE and OEWG

Research / 29 Apr 2021

Dennis Broeders published an article, available open access, in the Journal of Cyber Policy on The (im)possibilities of addressing election interference and the public core of the internet in the UN GGE and OEWG: a mid-process assessment.

The article is available under open access here.

Abstract

This paper investigates whether and how the twin UN processes of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (UN GGE) and the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) are willing and able to address two ‘below-the-threshold’ problems in their deliberations. The call for the protection of the public core of the internet and the call for the protection against foreign election interference have been flagged by many state and non-state parties for consideration by both processes. This paper analyses the threats that the vulnerability of the public core of the internet and foreign election interfere pose for stability in cyberspace, as well as the legal and normative proposals that have been suggested to promote responsible state behaviour. On the basis of the public documents that states have submitted to the more transparent OEWG process, the contours are sketched of what the inclusion of these issues in possible consensus reports for both processes may look like. The OEWG concluded its deliberations with a consensus report that addresses some aspects of these issues, shifting the task of further elaboration and guidance firstly onto the ongoing UN GGE process, as well as onto the new OEWG 2021–2025 and other UN processes that are emerging.

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