IPG – Security Science Programme

The Department of Information Policy & Governance (IPG) has, since its inception, been involved in the development of security science as a new discipline.

The sustained interest of the Department in security dates back to the international involvement of its founding staff in the design of privacy law in the security and law enforcement sector, including their participation in the drafting and review of the Council of Europe’s Recommendation on Data Protection and the Police between 1984-2014.

At the same time, our research has contributed significantly to the definition and consolidation of this scientific field. The IPG has, in recent years coordinated or worked in interdisciplinary research initiatives, activities and projects related either to the theoretical development of the disciple as to the study of security science diverse applications in daily life.

IPG conceptualises, understands and operates security science as an 'interdisciplinary science that draws on many fields [disciplines] (such as computer science, information and communications technology, information policy and governance, law, psychology, criminology, sociology, social anthropology and philosophy) in developing theories, constructing a structured body of knowledge and identifying concepts and principles about risks/threats to human beings, material or intangible assets in a variety of specified contexts or situations as well as the protection to be extended to such human beings and/or assets in such situations' (Cannataci 2015).

We add to this holistically interdisciplinary vision elements promoting the interconnection between security science, open science, technology and innovation as the Evolving Security SciencE through Networked Technologies, Information policy and Law – ESSENTIAL (link to web page) demonstrates either by stimulating the engagement and supervision of early security science researches as by building an innovative approach to the theoretical and operational elements of security sciences, as by enhancing the cooperation between the various actors engaged on the practice of security activities.

These links, between various forms of threat and appropriate protection in a diverse set of circumstances, led the IPG teams to take a special interest in the role of information in threat intelligence and risk reduction from both a technical as well as a human rights point of view. As the world moved into the Internet Age, IPG increased its work on the fundamental question: does security in the Knowledge Society require policy interventions by governments as well as commercial corporations? If yes, what type of intervention is required and should it include initiatives such as new operational procedures, new educational programmes as well as new technical and legal safeguards as part of legislative reform? These questions form the basis of the intricate millennia-old relationship between security and information flows. This relationship between security science and information policy & governance has been recently brought to the fore by technological developments where citizens armed with smartphones and other mobile devices are on-line, everywhere, all of the time.

The delicate balance that must be achieved and maintained as part of a sustainable European information policy inspired the Department’s continued involvement in designing and/or co-ordinating a number of collaborative research projects in the European Union’s FP7 and Horizon 2020 SEC (security) SIS and other programmes including:

ESSENTIAL - Evolving Security Science through Networked Technologies, Information Policy and Law

EVIDENCE - European Informatics Data Exchange Framework for Courts and Evidence

SMART - Scalable Measures for Automated Recognition Technologies

RESPECT - Rules, Expectations & Security through Privacy-Enhanced Convenient Technologies

MAPPINGManaging Alternatives for Privacy, Property and Internet Governance

CITYCoPCitizen Interaction Technologies Yield Community Policing

 
A Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. In July 2015, the Human Rights Council appointed Prof. Joseph Cannataci of Malta as the first-ever Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. The appointment is for three years.

Some fairly recent ICT-policy and privacy related project events:

Model Law on smart surveillance
The SMART On-line Privacy conference in March 2014 included the first stage of a stakeholder debate on the model law on smart surveillance being developed by the SMART project. It is expected that the current and successive drafts will continue to be discussed by stakeholders in various rounds of consultation before being incorporated into a Policy Brief to be presented to both the European Commission and the European Parliament some time in 2016-2017.

Privacy-friendly, data-protection compliant tool-kit including model law on surveillance 
The latest Policy Workshop in the RESPECT project held in Barcelona on 17-18 Sep 2014 on the theme of “Technology and Crime: Privacy and Policy in the era of Big Data” was followed by a final conference in April (20-22) 2015. The latter also included the next stage of a stakeholder debate on the model law on surveillance being developed by the RESPECT project also as part of follow-up to the SMART project. It is expected that the current and successive drafts will continue to be discussed by stakeholders in various rounds of consultation before being incorporated into a Policy Brief to be presented to both the European Commission and the European Parliament some time in 2016-7.

DEMOSEC
The recent joint event in the RESPECT project inter alia discussing a first draft of a policy brief on some of the findings and recommendations arising from the RESPECT and allied SURVEILLE and IRISS projects was held in Brussels on 29-30 October 2014. 

DEMOSEC Cluster: DEMOSEC is the acronym for the platform DEMOcracy and SECurity. The three research projects–IRISS, RESPECT and SURVEILLE–funded under the European Commissions’ 7th Framework programme addressing the complex interplay between security, democracy, privacy, law and technology are cooperating on this platform.


https://www.um.edu.mt/maks/ipg/ourresearch/ipgsecurityscienceprogramme