Cyber Culture and Personnel Security: Report 2 - Ethnographic Analysis of Second Life
Technical rept. Jun 2010-Jul 2011
DEFENSE PERSONNEL SECURITY RESEARCH CENTER MONTEREY CA
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This report presents the results from an ethnographic examination of a popular virtual social environment, Second Life, as the second part of a larger effort to study the impact of participation in cyber activities on personnel security and safety. Research has shown that cyber participation can spill over into individuals offline lives, which could be of security concern to the extent that their online behavior demonstrates poor judgment andor undermines their reliability. Several immersive ethnographic methods were used in the present study, including participation observation, group discussions, and one-on-one interviews with 148 Second Life users who resembled the demographics of clearance holders. The reported findings include a description of behaviors of potential concern, a set of case studies that outline the behaviors of actual users, and a framework of user personas that attempts to distinguish between innocuous use of no apparent security concern from problematic use that may pose risks to national security. These findings contain implications for updating personnel security policy regarding cyber involvement.
- Military Forces and Organizations