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Power Relationships in The United States Federal Government and Its Effect on Cybersecurity Policy



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Journal of Information Systems Security
Volume 10, Number 3 (2014)
Pages 319
ISSN 1551-0123 (Print)
ISSN 1551-0808 (Online)
Michael Lapke — University of Mary Washington, USA
Ramesh Subramanian — Quinnipiac University, USA
Information Institute Publishing, Washington DC, USA




The United States federal government faces a major challenge as it attempts tosecure the nation’s resources and critical infrastructure: the politics and powerrelationships that form the essence of its very body. Implementing security in anyorganization will affect the power relationships within that organization (Lapke and Dhillon, 2008) and the federal government is one of the largest and most complex.Considering the long standing de jure and de facto power relationships inherent inthe federal government, the implementation of broad reaching cyber security policyhas been a long fought battle. Subramanian (2010) detailed the government’sapproach to cyber security in the 10 year period between to the 2000 and 2010. This paper is an extension of Subramanian’s work and focuses the analysis through the lens of Clegg’s (2002) Circuits of Power. It explores the power relationshipsthat impacted the decisions made by the executive, legislative, and judicial branchesof government. It also describes how these power relationships changed as a resultof the emerging reality of cyber security.




Cyber Security Policy, Power Relationships, Circuits of Power, Government Policy




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