I am at the APSA panel on Cyber Security in a Wikileaks World, which I will be live blogging for the next couple of hours. Tweet me your questions aboutany of the papers (you can download them, or just follow along here) and I will happily ask them when the time comes.

NB I am taking notes on my ipad so please forgive the typos! I’ll clean up later.

Rogerson et al., It’s 2010, Do You Know Where Your Information Is? National Information Security Policies in Comparative Perspective

How different are democracies from authoritarian regimes in how they regulate online information?
What types of info do governments protect?
What arguments do govs use to justify these policies?

Dataset: 250 policies (laws, bills, pronouncements) from countries in 5+ continents

3 types of rationales used:

  1. national interest (eg security)
  2. protecting citizens (eg from spam)
  3. facilitating crossborder info sharing

Info security context: policy drivers

  • cyberterrorism
  • personal info
  • international economic competitiveness

Preliminary conclusions:

  • Differences have more to do with the kind of info being controlled than type of government [my note: Isn’t this heaviy tied to what kind of gov it is?]
  • Democracies also limit regularly
  • Attitude is that info control “helps” in times of crisis
  • some countries value personal privacy more than others

Kollars, We have a problem of adaptation and tinkering

Hard for us to know which kinds of extremist sites are dangerous and worth worrying about
How do I look at a site and determine whether it is something I should worry about?
methodology issues:

  • Content analysis doesn’t help much because people can say inflammatory thigs and not mean them, or perhaps saying them has discharged the sentiment
  • Link/network analysis: someone may link to something just to criticize it; link doesn’t tell you how often someone actually clicks that link
  • Web analytics: you can see traffic volume, but you don’t know what people are using them for. E.g. Vanguard, a white supremacy site, has biggest traffic from India and Pakistan — why?

Tinkerers matter:
useful to know there is smeone with enough skill to tinker
they know enough to alter the web, but they aren’t the people building its infrastructure

tinkering: art of taking received objects and adapting them
web’s open archictecture makes it vulnerable to

What can a tinkerer do?

  • Google bombing
  • Rickrolling
  • SEO manipulation
  • software to limit data inflows

Focusing on sites that are engaging in “deep” web as opposed to surface web can help us go from worrying about 50000 extremist sites to focusing on the 5 or 6k that really matter

Data Sharing, Privacy and Organizational History: DHS Fusion Centers
Priscilla M. Regan, George Mason University

Fusion centers are extremely varied; some focus specifically on terrorism, others on all types of hazards/crimes
Centers more likely to share if:

  • mandate is broader than terrorism/li>

  • have hazy policies on sharing
  • colocated

interviews at 32
all the centers now focus on all crimes even if they started with narrower focus
hard to identify precursors terrorism unless you look at criminal activity more generally
data sharing happens less through tech, more through personal networks, phone, etc
not a lot of variation in mission creep

First Amendment Rights, Information Superiority, Image, and Operation Security: Crafting a Military Communication Model for the Cyber Age
Christina M. Knopf

McChrystal Rolling Stone interview put spotlight on concerns about free speech in military vs among civilians
Miltary has separate society with a bunch of rationales for limits on speech

from Parker, the military model of communication assumes communication is:

    linear and can be stopped
  • for persuasion and can be subversive
  • powerful and predictable
  • unaltered by participants/context

Challenges to this model include many social media examples [see paper — it is a great and interesting list]

Knopf has revisions to Parker model of military comms. Observes that now:

  • comms isnt linear
  • can’t be stopped but can be control
  • multiple uses of comms, not just persuasion
  • it is powerful
  • different contexts and participants change evaluation

comms is no longer just command and control – recognized it happens in many forms, including external comms with civilians
many arguments now for reasons to broaden approach to comms and free speech within military

new model can be seen most clearly in miltary’s social media policies
new networks not only link miltary in new ways internally, but in new ways to civilians, gov, etc
rank and file comms are now as likely to be managed by spin as by sanctions within chain of command

Information Technologies, Democratization and Digital Activism: WikiLeaks as/for New Politics of Rights, M. Selcan Kaynak

Debate on wikileaks framed more around security than freedom of info
Each set of document releases involved a new set of actors in different countries, depending on whose info was exposed
Reviews different kinds of lit that have emerged around wikileaks
she uses network theory — multidimensional network analysis includes nonhuman as well as human actors. Tech is part of the network itself; it could be an actor. The infrastructure that WL used itself is part of the story.
Cites Castells model of counter-network power
WL cable leaks is an instance in how in network society traditional power structures can be disrupted and new forms of power introduced