Everything-as-a-hack: Claims-making for access to digital and social resources

Wolter Pieters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


In media and public discourse, cyber incidents are typically covered in terms of cybercriminals or other external threat agents managing to gain access to sensitive data and systems through weaknesses in technology and/or human factors. Such a framing of incidents foregrounds the (problematic) access claims of “hackers” and the protection against those as the key issue in security. However, other access claims play a role in the same incidents, such as those of the data owners, service providers, advertising companies, intelligence agencies, etc. These access claims are made via different means, and they are backgrounded when the problem is framed in terms of unauthorised access through hacks. In this contribution, I investigate the activity of claiming access as a key analytical concept in a more symmetrical treatment of cybersecurity and associated incidents. Rather than implicit, normalised, and technologically congealed notions of threats and associated access claims, this analytical framework aims at highlighting all access claims within the scope of a cybersecurity phenomenon, in order to uncover the politics behind cybersecurity and associated discourses and infrastructures, and thereby increase transparency. By covering different types of resources and different means of access, the approach also has the potential to connect the rather separated discourses on cybersecurity, privacy, and social manipulation through technology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Security Paradigms Workshop, NSPW 2019 - Proceedings
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450376471
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event2019 New Security Paradigms Workshop, NSPW 2019 - San Carlos, Costa Rica
Duration: 23 Sep 201926 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


Conference2019 New Security Paradigms Workshop, NSPW 2019
Country/TerritoryCosta Rica
CitySan Carlos


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