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April 09, 2008

Everyday People

When dealing with an issue as globally important but deeply personal as security, it helps to get as many perspectives as possible. Unfortunately, we’ve yet to find a meeting room big enough to accommodate all 6.6 billion people on the planet. So we’ve done the next best thing.

For the Security & Society focus area the GIO is hitting the streets, stopping passersby and asking them their views on security. We think the views of regular folks -- people that don’t necessarily think about security issues for a living, but share our security needs nonetheless – will add a new perspective to the deep dive process. GIO deep dives typically feature a host of experts from across a wide range of disciplines, but they don’t include the views of the so-called “man on the street.” So without further ado, please watch the video we compiled on Security & Society:

As you can see, the average person thinks about security in many different ways. But they also think about it in some pretty sophisticated ways. We think it’s important to keeps these perspectives in mind when we talk about security strategies at a global level. Because ultimately, if the security priorities we choose to pursue are not addressing human concerns at the individual level, they can’t possibly be considered effective.

Stay tuned for results from the Moscow dive, which is less than 24 hours away.

April 9, 2008 in Security and Society | Permalink


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I think we should be wary of opening up the topic of security using soundbites presented with a canned muzak backing track. It's valuable to speak to lay people (ie those who are not IT security experts) about how they feel about personal data and online security but they give their most interesting and instrutive responses not off the top of their head as "vox pops", but rather - as the DTI Trustguide research showed - after a couple of hours' immersion in the subject. A bit like a short jury process.

Posted by: William | Apr 12, 2008 1:23:18 PM


There seems to be a subtle but important theme coming out of the Moscow talks. If there is going to be any effort to secure the internet, it must come from the people who use it, those members of the global village who actively participate in the internet, and people of all nationalities, persuasions, personal creeds, and walks of life.

It would certainly be a tragedy if security issues were to be dominated by special interest groups and political factions who wish to exploit activity on the web, or repressive regimes genuinely in fear of the forum for open political debate it provides.


Posted by: Tim R. | Apr 14, 2008 1:42:06 PM

I do believe it is important to listen to and understand the "views from the street" on security.
The current sample looks alike in terms of people living in same area, listening to same news on TV, having same overall value system.
Broadening this to a wider set of territorial, cultural value systems, and day to day information sources background might offer very different views on what security means

Posted by: Jo | Apr 16, 2008 7:50:49 AM

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