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Title: Information-flawing filters in critical infrastructure protection: the deficient information basis in a Swedish approach

Authors: Christine Große; Aron Larsson; Olof Björkqvist

Addresses: Risk and Crisis Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, Holmgatan 10, 851 70 Sundsvall, Sweden ' Risk and Crisis Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, Holmgatan 10, 851 70 Sundsvall, Sweden; Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Kista, 16407, Sweden ' Department of Chemical Engineering, Mid Sweden University, Holmgatan 10, 851 70 Sundsvall, Sweden

Abstract: Various societal functions, such as healthcare, freight transports, water supplies and electricity, ensure the daily life, endurance and progress of modern societies. The protection of such critical functions requires comprehensive information processing. Based on evidence from documents on the Swedish planning process STYREL and interviews with entrusted decision-makers at county administrative boards, municipalities and power grid operators, this study aims to crystallise information pathways and flaws to highlight information filtration and alteration. Analyses of the material reveal a set of information-flawing filters, such as information withholding or loss when sharing, information scarcity in criticality assessments and ad-hoc information creation due to scarcity. Because of these filters, the Swedish process causes an altering of information that affects the quality of decisions and the emergency response plan that relies on them. Thus, this study indicates deficiencies that relate to information sharing, information security and decision-making that poses risks to citizens and businesses.

Keywords: critical infrastructure protection; CIP; societal security; information management; decision analysis; multi-level planning; public private policy network; filters; Swedish policy; information pathways; information sharing; security; decision-making.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCIS.2023.129066

International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, 2023 Vol.19 No.1, pp.40 - 57

Received: 08 Jan 2021
Accepted: 05 Feb 2021

Published online: 17 Feb 2023 *

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