Words For A Wired World: Cybersecurity As Communicative Art
In this paper I propose to examine the Snowden affair as a cultural and communicative phenomenon, looking at the ways in which the discussions around it have been framed and presented by his supporters, his detractors, and by Snowden himself. Drawing on a range of texts, but focusing primarily on the 2014 graphic novel "Beyond Edward Snowden", Snowden’s 2014 TED talk and the response to this by NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett, I will seek to present a study which, drawing on Critical Discourse Analysis, corpus linguistics and Lakoff’s theories of “frames”, allows us to better understand the ways in which this event has been “read” by the various sides. The Snowden case exemplifies the challenge faced by those working within cybersecurity to present their activities (above all those which involve the monitoring of the general public and the capture of data concerning them) in a way which appears reasonable and truthful, and which is expressed in a way which matches the vision of the world held by the intended audience. In a climate of ever-growing distrust of officialdom and government in general, there is a desperate need to find a more effective manner of stating the case against the actions of individuals such as Snowden, Manning, and Assange (to say nothing of the activities of groups such as Anonymous). The metaphor of cybersecurity as a war is both powerful and valid, but it is a conflict where the weapons must be both technical and verbal.
Citation : Scott, K. (2015) Words For A Wired World: Cybersecurity As Communicative Art. paper delivered at 1st International Conference on Cyber Security for Sustainable Society 2015, University of Coventry, 26-27th February 2015
Research Institute : Media and Communication Research Centre (MCRC)
Peer Reviewed : No
- School of Humanities