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Shielding the net - understanding the issue of vulnerability and threat to the information society

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There are a number of vulnerabilities, which are increasing in potential effects, as society grows increasingly digitised and increasingly interconnected. Critical information infrastructure (CII) is one of these vulnerabilities, which is vital for the functioning of society. Often these resources are taken for granted and can be overlooked. The period under consideration in this article and consequently its primary focus is from 1995 until 2002. Beginning with a description of the physical stakes that are at risk, the article evaluates the policy processes underpinning CII in a variety of different countries as it relates to CII protection. These processes are tracked, revealing differences and similarities in the time and path taken to secure a national policy. It is argued that a country's ability to successfully navigate the various identified phases of the critical information infrastructure protection programme implementation process is determined by a number of observable factors: constitutional structure; the character of the state bureaucracy; real and perceived threats; and effective top-down policy coordination.
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Keywords: comparison; critical information infrastructure; policy analysis; policy learning; risk

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS), Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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