Thesis: Internet Security and the Limits of Open Source and Peer Production

“It is commonly asserted that almost any societal activity could benefit from distributed, bottom-up collaboration — by making societal interaction more open, more social, and more democratic. However, we also need to be mindful of the limits of these models. How could they function in environments hostile to openness?”

* Doctoral Thesis: Secrecy vs. Openness. Internet Security and the Limits of Open Source and Peer Production. Andreas Schmidt. Delft University of Technology, 2015

(The PDF includes a five-pages summary.)

From the Abstract:

“Open source and peer production have been praised as organisational models that could change the world for the better. It is commonly asserted that almost any societal activity could benefit from distributed, bottom-up collaboration — by making societal interaction more open, more social, and more democratic. However, we also need to be mindful of the limits of these models. How could they function in environments hostile to openness? Security is a societal domain more prone to secrecy than any other, except perhaps for romantic love. In light of the destructive capacity of contemporary cyber attacks, how has the Internet survived without a comprehensive security infrastructure? Secrecy vs. openness describes the realities of Internet security production through the lenses of open source and peer production theories. The study offers a glimpse into the fascinating communities of technical experts, who played a pivotal role when the chips were down for the Internet after large-scale attacks. After an initial flirtation with openness in the early years, operational Internet security communities have put in place institutional mechanisms that have resulted in less open forms of social production.”

For More Information:

* “There is superbly designed and manufactured print version available. It is not for sale, but my faculty has a decent number of copies available for interested individuals and organisations.” Contact author via [email protected]

1 Comment Thesis: Internet Security and the Limits of Open Source and Peer Production

  1. Marty Heyman

    “Security is a societal domain more prone to secrecy than any other, except perhaps for romantic love.”

    Interesting definition of “security.” It would have been nice if they were clear whose security … what is being secured from whom or what threat. It is particularly disappointing that the abstract does not mention “privacy” which is the matter at hand for social intercourse.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.