Roger Clarke’s Information Infrastructure Home-Page

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This segment of the site provides access to papers that I've published in the broad area of 'information infrastructure' (II). The term refers to the communications networks and associated software that support interaction among people and organisations. Since about 1993, the Internet has driven the debate; but the term also encompasses underlying long-distance and short-distance communications technologies, private networks, local area networks, future facilities, and the means of connecting to and using networks such as desktops and handhelds, including systems software and relevant application software.

II was popularised by American Vice-President Al Gore's use of the term 'national information infrastructure (NII)' as a clarion call in the mid-1990s. Many people, in and beyond the U.S., prefer the term 'global information infrastructure' (GII), to emphasise the interconnectedness of the network, of countries and of people. Since 1995, a substantial set of resources has been available on this and the associated eBusiness site, which has attracted over 15 million hits.


The resources in this segment of the site can be accessed in the following ways, most useful first:

The Topic-Based Index of my papers on information infrastructure themes, up-to-date at 31 December 2012, below

The What's New Page (because the indexes are never fully up-to-date), here

The Chronological Index of my papers on information infrastructure themes, here

The Search Facility, in the button at the top-right-hand side of the page

A chronological index of Presentations is here


Annotated Bibliography of Information Infrastructure Papers

1. Fundamentals

2. History of the Internet

3. Technical Aspects

3.1 Net-Based Payment Mechanisms

3.2 Electronic Publishing

3.3 Intellectual Property (Copyright and Patents)

3.4 Security, Cryptography , PKI and Biometrics

3.5 Applications within the University Sector

3.6 Additional Topics of Importance

4. Cyberculture

5. Policy Aspects

5.1 The Public Interest Generally

5.2 Privacy In Particular

5.3 Consumer Interests In Particular

5.4 Democracy In Particular

5.5 Public Policy - Opportunity

5.6 Public Policy - Regulation


What's Busy? These are the Most Highly Cited and Accessed Papers

See also the following recent papers:


1. Fundamentals

Starting-points for newcomers are provided by:

More advanced reading materials are available relating to technical aspects of information infrastructure.

More advanced reading materials are available relating to human behaviour in cyberspace.

Broad introductions to key policy issues are available, relating to:

An indication of the breadth of topics relevant to the area is provided by a series of notes on the annual Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conferences in 2002, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1995, 1994 and 1993, plus 'Why I'm Not Going to CFP 2003'


2. History of the Internet

I've published a history of the Internet in Australia, which, as far as I'm aware, is the only reasonably authoritative document on the topic:

And here's an authoritative study of the beginnings of the World Wide Web in Australia:

This retrospective is relevant too:

Other versions of the history paper are:


3. Technical Aspects

Internet architecture generally is described in the following papers:

Contributions dealing with particular technical aspects of the Information Infrastructure are grouped a series of sub-themes below.


3.1 Net-Based Payment Mechanisms

A series of works relates to the critical question as to how the transfer of value is to be achieved over the information infrastructure. The index for my materials in this area is in my electronic commerce department.


3.2 Electronic Publishing

An important theme in the area is the provision of digital materials over the Internet, both gratis and in return for payment of some kind. The index for my materials in this area is also in my electronic commerce department.


3.3 Intellectual Property (Copyright and Patents)

Here is the index for my materials in this critical area, which is also in my electronic commerce department.


3.4 Security, Cryptography, PKI and Biometrics

The indexes for materials on these important topics are elsewhere, at:


3.5 Applications within the University Sector

Reflecting the Internet's origins in universities, much of my early work related specifically to academic and university use of the information infrastructure:


3.6 Additional Topics of Importance

The following papers have addressed specific aspects of Internet technology:


4. Cyberculture

Introductory material is in:

A series of papers has addressed the nature of human behaviour on the Internet:


5. Policy Aspects

My contributions in this area have ranged across freedom of information, Internet regulation and surveillance, the laws and practices of copyright and defamation, consumer interests and the incursions of direct marketing, trust, e-consent, cookies, spam, digital rights management, copyright and process patents as constraints on Internet innovation, identification and nymity in cyberspace, and e-privacy.

My papers are categorised below into a number of sub-themes. Organisations that represented various interests in Australia were identified at Internet Industry and Community Groups (1996-). But that has been a rapidly changing space, and needs revisiting. See, for example, the list I maintain for the Australian Privacy Foundation.


5.1 The Public Interest Generally

My most significant papers in this area are:

A separate index lists papers on identity-related matters.

A series of papers express concern about whether the interests of citizens and consumers will be served:

Earlier papers were:

Papers on specific industry sectors include:

Case studies are provided, relating to:


5.2 Privacy In Particular

Threats to privacy represent one of the most serious aspects of information technology in the 'information society', the National and Global Information Infrastructure in general, and the Internet in particular.

The following provide a general overview of the topic:

For the c. 60 papers on more detailed topics, see these indexes:


5.3 Consumer Interests In Particular

A separate document identifies papers that address the assault by marketers on net-consumers.

Additional papers are provided on the concept of Trust.


5.4 Democracy In Particular

A small series of papers considers the exercise of democracy in the new context set by the Internet:


5.5 Public Policy - Opportunity

A series of papers addresses the need for the information infrastructure to be exploited, in order to achieve both economic and social goals. Introductory materials are at:

More advanced treatment is in:


5.6 Public Policy - Regulation

A considerable number of papers express disquiet about particular aspects of the information infrastructure, including the feasibility and appropriateness of particular forms of regulation:



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The content and infrastructure for these community service pages are provided by Roger Clarke through his consultancy company, Xamax.

From the site's beginnings in August 1994 until February 2009, the infrastructure was provided by the Australian National University. During that time, the site accumulated close to 30 million hits. It passed 40 million by the end of 2012.

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Created: 15 February 1995 - Last Amended: 6 January 2013 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
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