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Media, connectivity, literacies and ethics

Security challenges of networks: cybertrust and cybercrime

(Robin Mansell|)

What are the major security issues arising from our increasing reliance on digital networks? This project draws on research across a variety of disciplines to study how trust and crime interact with new digital technologies.

It will present a realistic vision of the implications and uncertainties of future developments in cyberspace, and identify the key issues affecting the way in which today's complex information societies are evolving. It will draw attention to the way in which matters of personal and network security are being treated in business and in policy contexts where new electronic services are being introduced. It will identify measures to avoid internet crime and the internet's potential to facilitate traditional crime.

The analysis will provide a basis for an assessment of the possible drivers of the evolution of cyberspace, the prospects created by innovations in technology, the threats and barriers to cyberspace development, and the feasibility and effectiveness of proposed crime prevention measures. We will give some attention to the ethical, legal and regulatory issues that arise in this area.

Patient users and medical websites: the user experience of internet environments

(Shani Orgad|)

What kinds of communicative relationships are developed between internet users who have concerns about health issues? Looking at the online participation of a range of patients, this project will research the poorly-understood processes of online communication. Analysis of the ways in which participants in online spaces configure their experiences into a 'story' provides an innovative way of understanding online communication as a socially significant activity, and can throw light on a broad range of debates on communication and the internet, health and illness, and social agency.

Evolution of an online high-bandwidth network: the MARCEL Observatory Research Project

(Robin Mansell|)

This project involves an ethnographic study of the creation and development of an innovative and globally extensive, online, high-bandwidth network of artists, scientists, educationalists and industry (MARCEL - Multimedia Art Research Centres and Electronic Laboratories|). MARCEL's aim is to develop new forms of interaction, creativity and pedagogy.

The study will examine the ways in which a new organisational form devoted to innovation and creativity online emerges and becomes (or does not become) effective. The results and findings will be useful to industry and policy-makers for the development of other initiatives using very high-bandwidth means of communication.