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The Australian National University

Public seminar

Navigation, Aviation, Cyberation: Developing new “Rules of the Road” for the Information Superhighway

Speaker: Professor George R Lucas, Jr
Date: Wednesday 7 August 2013
Time: 6.00pm – 7.30pm, refreshments served from 5.30pm
Venue: Weston Theatre
Vodcast: Watch the seminar
Seminar flyer: Navigation, Aviation, Cyberation: Developing new “Rules of the Road” for the Information Superhighway (PDF 284KB)

George R Lucas, Jr

The cyber domain presents a number of challenges. Recent worldwide acts of cyber crime stand side to side with ongoing commercial and military espionage and theft of industrial and state secrets, all of which threaten the security and welfare of individuals and nations. As indicated by public reaction to revelations in The Guardian of eavesdropping by security agencies in the U.S. and U.K. on private telephone and internet communications, however, efforts to counter such activities and provide greater individual and state security are strongly opposed in many rightsrespecting and reasonably democratic societies as constituting an unacceptable infringement of liberty and privacy.

Dr Lucas argues that some of these warnings are somewhat exaggerated. But the need for enhanced cyber security, especially for the protection of individuals and civil infrastructure, is an urgent and still unmet need. Some of the public resistance might be overcome, he suggests, by distinguishing more carefully between individual liberty and privacy as defensible rights, and “anonymity” which offers primarily freedom from accountability and detection. It is the latter, not the former basic rights, that is most compromised by stronger cyber security measures. Just as we learned by analogy to extrapolate from rules pertaining to marine watercraft, we can learn how to propose orderly regulations that place minimal limitations on privacy and liberty.

This presentation is part of the National Security College’s public seminar series and is presented in conjunction with the Centre for Applied Philosophy & Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University.

The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and ANU.


Updated:  30 October 2013/ Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/ Page Contact:  Web administrator, National Security College