‘State must protect citizens in domain cyberspace’
‘It is recommended that the State assumes sovereign responsibilities to protect life, liberty and property of its citizens in the domain of cyberspace, despite the international character of cyberspace,’ says Roy van Keulen. He will defend his dissertation on digital force on Wednesday 9 May 2018.
What was the reason to carry out research on the topic of your doctoral thesis?
'States have historically often tried to use force to capture valuable pieces of territory from other States. In the agricultural age, this would often be material resources, such as fertile agricultural land or rich fishing fields. In the industrial age, it would often concern energy resources, such as coal or oil. In the modern information age, States are trying to capture value from other States by capturing intellectual resources, such as techniques and technologies.'
Can you briefly explain what you have researched and how you did this?
'The research consists of three main parts. In Part I the information age is explained. In this part it is argued that we are writing a new chapter in the book of life as we are entering a new age; the Information Age, which is as revolutionary, unique and grand as our previous chapters on our hunter/gatherer-, agricultural- and industrial ages. In Part II the political philosophical framework is explained. In this part it is argued that the prevalence of the protection of life, liberty and property in philosophy and law, across time and across space, is not a historical coincidence, but rather, that it reflects a natural logic to structuring a society which is ultimately dictated by the laws of physics. In Part III the political philosophical framework of Part II is applied to the information age of Part I. In this part it is argued that in the information age, livelihoods increasingly depend on being able to capitalize on the valuable nuggets of information we extract from nature and that as a consequence, the State needs to expand its sovereign domain to include the domain of cyberspace.'
What are the most important conclusions and recommendations of the research?
'The most important conclusions and recommendations are that we, as a society entering the Information Age, need to attain a more fundamental understanding of the political philosophical principles which create the incentives to structure our society and a more fundamental understanding of the gravity of our transition into the Information Age. Following from this understanding it is recommended that the State assumes sovereign responsibilities to protect life, liberty and property of its citizens in the domain of cyberspace, despite the international character of cyberspace. The nation State remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition.'
Professor Afshin Ellian on Roy van Keulen
'This research has applied a fundamental review of political philosophy to an in-depth analysis of the information age to come to new understandings about the world we live in.'