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Archive for the 'Digital Technology and Policy Laboratory' Category

On the Importance of Internet Governance

Leonie M Tanczer19 May 2020

Dr Leonie Maria Tanczer, Lecturer at UCL STEaPP, reflects on her experience having participated in Internet Society’s Next Generation Leaders (NGL) e-Learning programme and makes a case for why the governance of the Internet should matter to all of us.

In my role as Lecturer in International Security and Emerging Technologies at UCL, I teach on the “Digital Technologies and Policy” specialisation for our Master’s in Public Administration. I am, thus, used to explaining the technical foundations, policy dilemmas, and stakeholders that make the Internet the kind of infrastructure we love and also rely on. Nevertheless, when the call to apply for the Internet Society’s Next Generation Leaders (NGL) programme hit my inbox, I felt compelled to sign up. I mean, who wouldn’t want to learn more about our beloved tool?!

What is the Internet Society?

The Internet Society is one of the core actors within the larger Internet ecosystem. Inititially, members of the Internet community were predominantly linked to US universities, where they developed technical standards and established the Internet’s basic functionality. However, over the last decade, the range of stakeholders involved in keeping the Internet up and running has significantly expanded. Nowadays, governments as much as the private sector, civil society, and intergovernmental organisations are engaged in “governing” the Internet.

Internet Society logo

The Internet Society logo

In particular the so-called “technical community” – which the Internet Society is part of – is concerned with maintaining and advancing the underlying architecture for the Internet, including protocols such as IPv6, standards, and other software and hardware specifications. Together with actors such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Regional Internet Registries (RIR), or the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Society is active in furthering the success of the Internet and promoting the Internet core values (such as openness, access, and end-to-end connectivity). Whilst these activities are of profound importance and matter to each of us (because we want to browse faster, safer, and cheaper!), the “average” Internet user may not have heard of them.

To counteract this information vacuum, the Internet Society’s NGL e-Learning programme aims to helps professionals aged 20-40 learn the core elements of the Internet’s history, governance, policy principles, and actors. The four-week-long course is foundational (which gave me the perfect opportunity to test my knowledge) and open to individuals from around the globe. In many ways, the offering aids the Internet Society’s aspiration to foster “capacity building” and provides interested parties with an ability to dip their toe into the 101 of Internet Governance.

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Play-acting as Cyber Experts for a Day: The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge

jay6 March 2020

By Natalia Maj, Jay Neuner, Jiehui Song and Malla Tedroff

Sleepless nights, ever-changing information and high-stress briefings to senior officials, business leaders and policy makers – sounds like a dream job, no? The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge gave our Unbreakable Cyber League team a 48-hour taste of just this life as cyber security experts, with all it entails.

The Unbreakable Cyber League

The Unbreakable Cyber League – Natalia, Jay, Malla and Jiehui

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge, held 17-18 February in the iconic BT Tower, brought together university teams from across the UK to respond to a simulated national cyber security incident. Starting from an initial brief of what has occurred, the teams decide what they’d recommend to ministers and policymakers in charge – and then recalibrate response recommendations again and again as the incident evolves (i.e. worsens) over the competition period.

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A holistic approach to reasoning about the security of critical infrastructure systems

uchennadani13 February 2020

By Dr Uchenna D Ani, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity, UCL STEaPP

Security designs should not consider technical details alone but should capture the bigger picture of the co-interacting participants that provide critical services.

Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) systems need cybersecurity, physical security and personnel security.  CNI systems use networks of diverse technologies (hardware and software) to enable the exchange of data and information. Generally, this involves socio-technical systems (STS) – people interacting with the technology and working together as a single system structured to achieve operational objectives.

IoT

Integrating the internet and the Internet of Things (IoT) with CNI systems enable greater capabilities for remote, autonomous sensing. Integration supports smarter control, monitoring, predictive maintenance, safety, and security management, but the convergence brings new security risks that demand serious attention. Geoff E, of the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), highlights the need to consider such systems as a whole rather than the sum of individual components. A holistic perspective is therefore necessary to achieve more all-embracing security.

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Data Protection Day

josellanos28 January 2020

By Dr Jose Tomas Llanos, Research Fellow in PACE (Privacy Aware Cloud Ecosystems) at UCL STEaPP

Data Protection Day (or Data Privacy Day outside Europe) is an international holiday held every year on 28 January. The declared purpose of this holiday is “to give everyone a chance to understand what personal data is collected and processed and why, and what our rights are with respect to this processing.”[1] The date was not randomly chosen: it is the anniversary of the opening for signature, in 1981, of Council of Europe’s Convention 108 for the Protection of individuals with regard to automatic processing of personal data.[2]

Convention 108 introduced the concept of ‘protection of personal data’, as well as important data protection principles that were later enshrined in the Data Protection Directive[3] and included (in a somewhat more elaborate fashion) in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)[4]: personal data must be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully (lawfulness and fairness); stored for specified and legitimate purposes and not used in a way incompatible with those purposes (purpose limitation); adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which they are stored (i.e. data minimisation); accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date (accuracy); and preserved in a form which permits identification of the data subjects for no longer than is required for the purpose for which those data are stored (storage limitation).[5]

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People with Hearing Loss and Connected Home Technologies

k.pothong15 November 2019

PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity took a first step to understand the needs and expectations of people with special requirements, starting with those with hearing loss, in their engagement with Internet of Things (connected devices) in their domestic environment. We organised a workshop on the 29th October 2019 which received interest and representation from a broad range of stakeholders, including technology developers, researchers, representatives of various UK groups for people with hearing loss (both the profoundly deaf and hard-of-hearing and cochlear implant users), as well as some individual end-users with hearing loss.

Kruakae Pothong led the workshop design, building on deliberation and value sensitive design, with the support of Claire Milne, a PETRAS Associate and LSE Visiting Senior Fellow, and Sarah Turner, a STEaPP Digital Technology and Public Policy MPA graduate. The workshop opened with participants sharing their experiences of technology in domestic life and the adjustments made to support various types of hearing loss. Participants were then asked to collectively define what they find problematic about their experience.

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