blog, research, interests  23.11.09

Security of the internet isn’t provided by a hierarchical, secretive and central organisation. There is no global internet police, and there is no internet defence corps. Internet security is the result of the collaboration of diverse types of actors such as internet service providers, technical experts, police and law enforcement, governments and academics. These actors make a dense, highly complex internet security governance network in which each type of actor is characterized by its own organisational idiosyncrasies while at the same time being part of the overall governance structure.

My focus currently is on bottom-up processes to provide internet security, like task-forces and working groups that are set up in an ad-hoc manner to tackle with the lates security phenomenon. Academics, engineers, experts and geeks from all over the world collaborate to provide. The way in which they are addressing security problems resembles what could be called peer production of internet security. My interest is to learn to what extent this mode of security provisioning is used, the settings in which we can observe it and whether this mode is sustainable or not. And how this all relates to internet security and the overall structure of internet security in general.

The internet is a tool that already has fundamentally changed business processes and business models. It is too early to tell what its long-term impact on societies and politics will be. Debates about ‘freedom’ on the internet have been going on for a while, such as if and how the internet fosters freedom of expression, or how authoritarian internet governance approaches could suppress individuals’ rights. The practices of internet security provisioning will have decisive consequences for the shape of ‘freedom’ on the internet.

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