Analyzing Trends and Topics in Internet Governance and Cybersecurity Debates Found in Twelve Years of IGF Transcripts

AbstractInternet Governance research generates substantial and innovative, interdisciplinary global scholarship. What are key topics and themes in this research area, and how do they relate to cybersecurity? This paper answers these questions by analyzing transcripts from twelve years of the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF), asking: (1) What key themes, topics, and entities are discussed at IGF? (2) Which issues have remained consistent at IGF, and which have changed? And (3) to what extent is the NIST Cybersecurity Framework represented at IGF? Using the CRISP-DM approach to text mining, we find human rights as the most dominant IGF theme, followed by freedom of expression, with disability being a persistent issue. During entity extraction cybersecurity emerges prominently, as does blockchain and IoT. Topic Modeling illustrates the resilience of human rights, but also identifies the IANA transition, accessibility, and “fake news.” Finally, the NIST cybersecurity framework is represented clearly in the data.

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