Network of Excellence in Internet Science

Emerging infrastructures and the Internet

This is my first blog about the workshop on Emerging Trends in Critical Infrastructure Protection on May 11-12 2015 in Semmering, Austria that was organized by JRA7 and SEA2 of the EINS project. It was on invitation and the attendants were a mix of ICT and social science academia, a governmental representative and stakeholders from industry (Orange, Huawei, Airbus, Hirschmann, and some SMEs). The Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) has already generated and distributed a press release about the workshop:
http://internet-science.eu/sites/eins/files/uploads/Int.EINS_Workshop_Se...

The Internet has become a critical infrastructure. I think that this understanding of Internet as being critical has a broad consensus among the Internet Science community. Let me focus on this aspect of Internet as critical infrastructure. As a part of the first talk of the workshop, Helmut Leopold from AIT provided a more fine-grained view on new and emerging infrastructures. Basically, he introduced three emerging new (critical) infrastructures for society. One was the Internet and communication technology infrastructure used by the people to communicate and use services over the Internet. The second is Internet of Things, which refers to physical objects becoming smart and all kinds of devices and machines starting to interact over the network. This can be a smart city or smart grid, but also a typical factory using Internet technology to control operations. To some degree this second infrastructure  seems similar to the Internet and communication infrastructure, but here machines interact with each other and the requirements differ a lot.  I also think that this infrastructure has a stronger cyber-physical interconnection. The third emerging infrastructure is the preservation of the lifestyle of society (I may not cite the title correctly due to simplifications in my notes). My understanding is that this takes a broader societal view. In contrast to single objectives like a user has access to water, here the user is meant be able to interact with society and participate in culture as common in free European societies. It grasps what is expected by people in a society and this may be different across different societies - what is the portfolio of things people rely on? Today with people not having maps, but using their smartphone to navigate to the place they search, the Internet plays an important role in that, too.

Ok, to sum up. Three new infrastructures to think about.
- Internet and Communication Technology infrastructure
- Internet of Things infrastructure
- (Preservation of) Lifestyle of Society

This was only a very little small aspect covered in the workshop.