Gerald Zojer

Digital technologies have become an integral part of everyday life for most inhabitants of the Arctic, diffusing so deep into society that even traditional activities are becoming digitised. All Arctic states have endorsed cybersecurity strategies, highlighting the significance that is attributed to digitalisation in today’s societies. Yet, these strategies reproduce a state-centric traditional security approach. Since digitalisation affects all spheres of human security, cybersecurity needs to be redefined in a more comprehensive way to be inclusive to challenges on the individual and community level. This paper discusses a digital security approach. Acknowledging the importance of software in contemporary information societies, this paper looks at how private and public software property regimes are related to digital security in an Arctic specific context. Following approaches from science and technology studies, with special attention to innovation research, this paper discusses the interrelations of proprietary software, open source software (OSS), and free and open source software (FOSS) approaches with digitalisation, considering the peculiarities of Arctic societies. The paper argues that FOSS provides advantages for the often small user base and niche markets of region specific applications, and thus utilising a FOSS approach promotes digital security in the Arctic.

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