Although my current research focuses on telecoms and spectrum policy, my interests in ICT are fairly broad. In part, this comes from my political science background and the emergence of Web2.0 services during the latter part of my undergraduate studies. And, of course, my Honours Thesis explored ICT’s impact on democratic processes. During my time at Ryerson, I’ve been able to contribute to three distinct research projects. There’s the current (and longest/best fit) CSPR project, a short stint with the Infoscape Lab, where I supported some quantitative analysis for a book, and a couple of projects with the Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute.
The primary project involved working with Dr. Avner Levin on a report for Public Safety Canada, helping to inform Canada’s developing cybercrime strategy. Along with another graduate student, we conducted a comparative review of strategies of a number of countries, including those in the Anglosphere, Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States, Baltic Region, and China. Our findings argue that states’ strategies can largely be summed up as either a Budapest-approach (named for the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime) that emphasize law enforcement acting across state lines or a UN-informational security approach, which emphasizes state sovereignty.
A copy of our report can be found online — Levin, A. Research Assistance provided by Goodrick, P., and Ilkina, D. “Securing Cyberspace: A Comparative Review of Strategies Worldwide” Final Report, July 2012.
I assisted Dr. Levin with another journal submission of his that he coauthored with other academics but he always maintained that we should try to take the extensive research we had done for the Public Safety report and explore submitting to a journal. The Canadian Foreign Policy Journal had a call for proposals that seemed very relevant and we conducted some further research and got to writing.
Avner was a great mentor for the process, especially for the peer-review stage. While many comments were useful in strengthening our arguments and enhancing the paper’s grounding in the current literature, I was a bit shocked by some of seemingly petty comments. I clearly understand that some academics have a methodological preference that can extend to a bias. And Avner’s guidance was around the idea that you had to be careful to objectively evaluate whether a reviewer was pointing out a flaw with our paper or instead trying to suggest changes to transform our paper into the article that the reviewer would have liked to have read/written.
Yet, as he warned me before we submitted the first draft, some of the comments were not productive at all and were very subjective. I think my ‘favourite’ was, “My sense is that an intelligent person wrote this paper but…”.
Regardless, we were able to strengthen and clarify our original submission and it was accepted for publication this summer. I was pretty excited to achieve another of my academic goals and all the little milestones that came with it — like the day I did a library search, and, there I was!
I’m hoping that I can contribute to at least another academic publication (as part of CSPR) before the end of my Master’s and, if I can just squeeze out some more time, perhaps submit something as a sole author. I’m preparing to get work started on my MRP, which may prevent me from taking on additional projects. Yet it may also serve as the basis for a journal submission on the state of Canadian telecommunication policy.