ChokePoint Project overview from the ECSA workshop Brussels

An update on what’s going on at the ChokePoint Project – cross-posted from the CPP blog:

In November Ruben and Axel presented the ChokePoint Project at the No Disconnect Strategy Workshop on European Capability for Situational Awareness.

Here is the summary of the presentation, written by the workshop team, which provides a good overview of the Project (the presentation slides are here).

ChokePoint Project – Ruben Bloemgarten

Ruben Bloemgarten presented the work of the Choke Point Project trying to address similar issues to those of the ECSA platform. Ruben noted the importance of timing, as old information was said not to be actionable anymore, therefore being essential to determine the kind of information that can be provided and to identify who can supply information.

Mr Bloemgarten noted that there were three main spheres of organizations and data types: first, a technical sphere generating measurement data (network activity generated, network topologies); second, a legal one including jurisprudence; and third, reporting organizations with direct information of the impact of both previous spheres on the ground.

He clarified that data was not equal to information, so for the purpose of the talk data should be considered machine readable, while information should be considered human readable. Therefore a data broker would be necessary to collect and transform information into data and vice versa. He further pointed out that data needs to be homogenized in some format so that comparative analysis can be performed and that the output (quantitative or qualitative) obtained can be used by other existing projects.

Concerning the access of users to the platform, Mr Bloemgarten stressed that when new information was generated and could be communicated to third parties, different layers of access might beneeded. One can allow access of technical users to raw data and access to non-technical users to a more global set of bits of information.

He moved on highlighting a series of requirements that an ECSA-like platform should consider in order to be functional: there cannot be trust without verification and he argued that the platform needed to be open. Second, potentially dangerous data could not be part of the system and therefore anonymization of raw data or removal of classified information must happen at the data source provider, before entering the system, as it is complex to segment this information once is part of the aggregation and processing and can potentially cause harm.

Mr Bloemgarten came to the end of his presentation clarifying that the ChokePoint Project had different tracks, measuring connectivity of regions based on Measurement Lab data or cooperating with the partner Digital Rights Watch for all what concerns the track on legal developments, as well as with other partners to avoid duplication and to incorporate diverse expertise to the project.

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