The Snowden disclosures, technical standards, and the making of surveillance infrastructures

Rogers, Michael (Briar Project, UK) ; Eden, Grace (University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais-Wallis))

The Snowden documents have revealed that intelligence agencies conduct large-scale digital surveillance by exploiting vulnerabilities in the hardware and software of communication infrastructures. These vulnerabilities have been characterized as “weaknesses,” “flaws,” “bugs,” and “backdoors.” Some of these result from errors in the design or implementation of systems, others from unanticipated uses of intended features. A particularly subtle kind of vulnerability arises from the manipulation of technical standards to render communication infrastructures susceptible to surveillance. Technical standards have a powerful influence on our digital environment: They shape the conditions under which digital citizenship is exercised. The Snowden revelations brought to the forefront the role of intelligence agencies in the standards-making process, lending new urgency to the debate over the adequacy and legitimacy of the current mechanisms used for negotiating standards. This article explores how influence is exercised in the production of standards and the implications this has for their trustworthiness and integrity.


Keywords:
Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Economie et Services
School:
HEG-VS
Institute:
Institut Informatique de gestion
Subject(s):
Economie/gestion
Date:
2017
Pagination:
22 p.
Published in:
International journal of communication
Numeration (vol. no.):
2017, vol. 11, pp. 802-823
ISSN:
1932-8036
External resources:
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2017-11-02, last modified 2018-12-20

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