The integration of networked computing into all areas of U.S. society has resulted in growing concern over the need for secure systems and the importance of freedom of access. This thesis explores the discursive struggle among security professionals over the best way to guarantee this security, the related competition for resources in the burgeoning cyber-industrial complex, and the fate of civil liberties in this turf war. The Copenhagen School's Securitization Theory goes some way to exploring how support for certain approaches is rhetorically mobilized, however it is limited in its exploration of audience response. The theory can therefore be enhanced by looking at the framing and agenda-setting function of the media in this process, both as an audience and as a method of disseminating security arguments. This approach allows for a consideration of the conditions specific to the cybersecurity case—both internal and external to the speech act—that facilitate audience acceptance.
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Thesis advisor: Feenberg, Andrew
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