Cybersecurity as a Politikum: Implications of Security Discourses for Infrastructures

TitleCybersecurity as a Politikum: Implications of Security Discourses for Infrastructures
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsFichtner L., Pieters W., Texeira A.
Conference NameNew Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW), Colorado, USA
Date PublishedSeptember
Conference LocationNew York

In the cybersecurity community it is common to think of security as a design feature for systems and infrastructures that may be dicult to balance with other requirements. What is less studied is how security requirements come about, for which reasons, and what their influence is on the actions the system facilitates. Security is for example often used as an argument for or against granting access rights that are of importance to stakeholders, such as in the discussion on counterterrorism versus privacy. This paper argues that the ongoing politicization of security calls for a paradigm to study security as a Politikum: a matter of political concern, embedded in existing and future infrastructures. We summarize literature that inspired this paper, and explain the role of security arguments for infrastructure governance. Then we outline the new paradigm and its core concepts and contribution, including the notion of framing. Finally, we present discourse analysis and infrastructure ethnography as research methods, and discuss cases in which discourses (may) shape infrastructures, in particular smart cities.