Open source software solutions as a contribution to human security in a digitalised Arctic

Theme 2. Connectivity
Session Name 2.1 Enablement besides constraints: A multidisciplinary approach to cybersecurity and its connections to human security in the Arctic
Datetime Sep 05, 2018 03:00 PM - 03:15 PM (UTC +3)
Location IT106
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter Gerald Zojer
Author(s) Gerald Zojer (Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland)
Abstract text

Digitalisation significantly impacts everyday life. Typically, digital technologies are developed in urban settings and overwhelmingly target the global markets. Most of the code or algorithms of leading digital corporations are proprietary and closed source, black-boxing the used technology. While digital technologies increasingly enter the domain of traditional activities, which are important for both economic means and the local culture of Arctic communities, the region’s inhabitants increasingly get detached from the used technologies. On the other hand, increased utilisation of “southern” technologies increases dependence and promotes a capitalist market ideology, challenging social organisation in many communities. This paper aims at finding answers to how Arctic communities can prepare themselves to take advantage of digitalisation and not to fall victim to its potential threats, and thus maintain societal integrity in a digitalised world. This paper follows the hypothesis that promoting the usage and development of an open source software culture contributes to a sustainable development in the Arctic. Since the traditional social organisation which can still be found among many communities in the Arctic is based on cooperation and sharing, open source culture can contribute to cultural continuities. Moreover, by following an open source approach Arctic communities can regain ownership over the used technologies and reduce risking dependence on outside actors. This paper will argue along the line of the concept of human security how utilising an open source approach can contribute to the empowerment of Arctic communities and offers the opportunity to maintain societal integrity in a digitalised world.

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