IRSST331-20B (NET)

Cyber Security and the Global Politics of the Internet

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Political Science and Public Policy


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Paper Description

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This course explores the global politics of cyber security and the internet. It covers the major political/strategic/theoretical debates around enhancing the security of computer systems and how states and non-state actors are responding.
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Paper Structure

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The course is taught via a weekly video lecture, an online tutorial forum and a cyber scenario.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Learning outcomes
    1.) Compare and contrast the major theoretical approaches to cyber security and the internet
    2.) Explain the technical challenges associated with protecting digital infrastructure
    3.) Identify the major political and strategic debates surrounding cyber warfare, cyber terrorism and cyber crime
    4.) Critically evaluate how nation states and non-state actors are involved in and responding to cyber security issues
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Essay 40%

Tutorial Forum responses 30%

Cyber scenario tasks 30%

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Essay
10 Oct 2020
10:30 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Tutorial Forum
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
3. Cyber Scenario
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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  1. The Meaning of the Cyber Revolution, Lucas Kello,
  2. Information Revolution, Security, and International Relations: (IR) Relevant Theory? Johan Eriksson and Giampiero Giacomello,
  3. Network Attack and Defence, Ross J Anderson
  4. Cyber-Terrorism in a Post-Stuxnet World, Michael Kenney
  5. What Is the Cyber Offense-Defense Balance?: Conceptions, Causes, and Assessment, Rebecca Slayton
  6. Cyber War Will Not Take Place, Thomas Rid
  7. Radicalization and the Use of Social Media, Robin L. Thompson
  8. Mobilising Cyber Power, Alexander Klimburg
  9. Small states and cyber security: The case of New Zealand, Joe Burton
  10. Depleted Trust in the Cyber Commons, Roger Hurwitz
  11. Artificial Intelligence: A Revolution in Strategic Affairs? Kenneth Payne
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Online Support

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This course uses Moodle and presumes that all enrolled students will check it regularly for course information.
Additional information and any changes to the timetable or lecture and tutorial programme will be advised by email, announced in video lectures, and posted on the course Moodle site.
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Students should spend approximately 150 hours on this course over the semester. This equates to 12.5 hours per week and includes working on and preparing for all assessment items.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: IRSS331

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