Digital kingmakers: why democracy needs (you to have) better cyber security

Crawford School of Public Policy | National Security College
Digital kingmakers: Why democracy needs (you to have) better cyber security

Event details


Date & time

Thursday 14 September 2017


DoubleTree Room, DoubleTree by Hilton, 270 Flinders Street, Melbourne, Victoria


Dr Tim Legrand, Ms Jacinta Carroll, and Dr Adam Henschke, National Security College, ANU.


Chris Farnham

In the past few years, we have seen the subversion of national elections, the corruption of a national census, the shutdown of parliamentary communications, and a swathe of digital assaults on state institutions. As democratic institutions increasingly adopt and rely on digital platforms, the security of public policy decision-making has become an urgent issue of national interest. The future of public administration is clearly digital, but is it transparently secure?

In this public seminar, Dr Tim Legrand will explore the landscape of a digital democracy, underlining the growing vulnerabilities of core democratic institutions and practices to intrusion, attack and subversion. Dr Adam Henschke will look at some of the ethical questions around cyber security, such as whether to increase government capacity at the cost of individual privacy, and whether the democratic process can be secured without countering core liberal ideals. Ms Jacinta Carroll will consider the problem from a policy perspective with possible initiatives to deal with these challenges.

This event will be followed by a light lunch and workshop exercise - registration required


Cyber attack 2018: the dilemmas and politics of infrastructure protection

Time: 2–2:45pm

Register: Participation in this workshop requires registration as numbers are limited. Please RSVP to to secure a place.

This exercise explores the vulnerability of Australian critical infrastructure to cyber attack. The past five years have seen exponential growth in attacks on critical processes and infrastructures around the world. Anticipating how these attacks can affect national interests is fundamental to effective pre-crisis planning. Using a hypothetical scenario derived from known plausible and actual threats, this exercise puts participants in the heart of the dilemmas of risk-assessment and decision-making for national security officials. Playing the roles of advisers and responders, participants in the workshop will be guided by Dr Legrand and Dr Henschke as they work in small groups to develop arguments, strategies and tactics to respond to the ‘crisis’.

Dr Tim Legrand is a Lecturer at the ANU National Security College. His interdisciplinary research concerns the structures, management and processes of public administration. His work draws on, and contributes to political science, law, international relations, security studies and public policy around several research streams that include international policy transfer, evidence-based policy-making, transgovernmental policy networks, the governance of national security and emergency policy, and crisis management. Dr Legrand has worked as a policy consultant for the UK Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Health and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Dr Adam Henschke is a Lecturer and Graduate Convenor at the ANU National Security College. His main research interests are in ethics and philosophy as they relate to national security, and he has published on military ethics, privacy, surveillance and emerging technologies. He is currently looking at issues that arise at the interface between cyber technologies, national security and ethics. Dr Henschke is an adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University and is secretary of the Asia Pacific chapter of the International Society of Military Ethics. His sole-authored book, Ethics in the Age of Surveillance, has recently been published by Cambridge University Press.

Jacinta Carroll joined the ANU National Security College in August 2017 as the Director, National Security Policy. For the past two years she was the inaugural Head of the Counter Terrorism Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Prior that, Ms Carroll held a variety of senior executive appointments in the Australian Government, including in the Department of Defence and the Attorney-General’s Department. Her career experience includes working on national security, counter-terrorism, strategic policy, border security, military operations, campaign planning and scenario development, information management, and international policy with a particular focus on the Middle East and Afghanistan. She has served in Iraq.

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