Critical Protection for the Network of Persons

Forthcoming in The Journal of Law and Social Change, Vol. 25, Issue 3, 2022

37 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2021

See all articles by Janine S. Hiller

Janine S. Hiller

Virginia Tech

Gerlinde Berger-Walliser

University of Connecticut - School of Business; University of Connecticut - School of Law

Aaron Brantly

Virginia Tech - Department of Political Science

Date Written: October 28, 2021

Abstract

The world is facing a future of sensored surveillance, filled with pervasive ultra-small connected devices, added to relatively larger ones already present in appliances and everyday technology today. Sensors will be bound to people as well as the environment, and people will provide much of the data that will compose the fundamental building blocks of a decisional infrastructure. Threats emanating from incompetence, unethical conduct, criminals, and nation states will put national security at increased risk because of new levels of potential harm to individual citizens as well as potential damage to physical infrastructure. A future that includes intimate electronic connections with a person’s body creates an imperative to secure a Network of Persons (NoP), rather than of things. Sensor driven collection of huge amounts of data from individuals can impact the fundamental meaning of citizenship, affect economic prosperity, and define personal identity, all in a world composed of dwindling nodes of mediation between humans and automated systems. Intimately connected technology is increasingly interweaving persons in ways that extend the importance and relevance of critical infrastructure protections to the person. The present disjointed and fragmented approaches of Europe and the United States exacerbate the problems and elevate the importance of reconsidering designations of critical infrastructure. A new designation of a Critical Network of Persons (CNoP) does not obviate or alleviate the risks associated with the technologies; rather, it begins to shift the burden of risk mitigation and protection away from those least capable, towards the state and its partners. This paper proposes critical infrastructure protection for life critical functions in the NoP. It is argued that because the person is the building block for this critical infrastructure protection, the government’s duty is qualitatively different from its duty to protect other critical infrastructures. Establishing a CNoP reorients the scope and focus to that of the citizen, the person—the building block of the nation. Ensuring the security at this, the individual level, is imperative for maintaining national security for all.

Keywords: Internet of Things, Internet of Persons, Cyber security, Critical infrastructure protection

JEL Classification: K 29, K 32

Suggested Citation

Hiller, Janine S. and Berger-Walliser, Gerlinde and Brantly, Aaron, Critical Protection for the Network of Persons (October 28, 2021). Forthcoming in The Journal of Law and Social Change, Vol. 25, Issue 3, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3952121

Janine S. Hiller (Contact Author)

Virginia Tech ( email )

Pamplin College of Business
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Gerlinde Berger-Walliser

University of Connecticut - School of Business ( email )

368 Fairfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-2041
United States

University of Connecticut - School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States

Aaron Brantly

Virginia Tech - Department of Political Science ( email )

VA
United States

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