The Polar Code, tele medicine and protection of patient data

Mr Johnny Groneng Aase1

1Institute For Marine And Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Loddefjord, Norway

The Polar Code came into force on Jan 1st, 2017. Chapter 10.2.1 establishes functional requirements for ship communications. Paragraph 4 states that “Appropriate communication equipment to enable telemedical assistance in polar areas shall be provided.”


The Polar Code does not define the terms “telemedical” or “tele medicine”. Being a maritime nation, the Parliament in 2004 established the Norwegian Centre for Maritime Medicine (NCMM) as a national competence centre at Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen. When a medical emergency occurs at sea, the vessel can get medical advice from a medical doctor. Medical advice can be provided by any means available, like radio, telephone or electronic mail.


Patient data should be protected. In real life, few means for encryption of patient data are available for commercial and civilian users.


A series of tele medical tests over Iridium NEXT satellites will be carried out in early autumn 2019 in the waters surrounding Svalbard.  We plan to test different means for online encryption of medical data.


In my presentation, I will elaborate on the regulations and laws for protection of patient data in the European Union and other countries. I will also discuss the results from our practical tests in the High Arctic.


Commander Aase is a senior subject matter expert in satellite communications with the Norwegian Cyber Defence Forces. He has a Bachelors Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Narvik University College (2001), a Masters Degree in Electronics and instrumentation from Oslo University and the University Centre in Svalbard (2005). He has worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Space Research at the University of Calgary, developing prototype particle detectors for sounding rockets and satellites. In 2015 he led a series of practical tests of Iridium satellites in the High Arctic. He has been a PhD student with IMAS since 2017.

‘De-securitising Arctic’ in the era of climate change: An Asian Perspective

Mr Bipandeep Sharma1

1Panjab University, Chandigarh, Chandigarh, India

Rapidly transforming Arctic has led to rethink the concept of security in the region. The increasing global warming and opening up of Arctic, has brought multiple geopolitical issues before Arctic and non-Arctic states. In order to dominate and defend mainly their economic and strategic interests, a race to ‘securitise the Arctic’ has started amongst the dominating Arctic states. This securitisation of polar north is being perceived not only in traditional military sense, but also through the notions of non-traditional security threat dilemmas of energy, environment, sustainability, human security, secure connectivity etc. By applying securitisation lens to all these emerging issues, the dominant Arctic players are actually bringing these emerging Arctic issues out of the realm of ‘normal politics’ to ‘security politics’. Asian states that are directly or indirectly impacted by changing Arctic are at conundrum, as securitisation of Arctic through multiple threat dilemmas is leaving little space for addressing common issues of global concern. This paper highlight all these emerging geopolitical issues (otherwise perceived as ‘security threats’) in Arctic, that need not to be addressed in securitisation framework, but rather in cognisance with global challenges of mutual cooperation and de-securitisation context.


I am a Ph.D candidate at the Center for the Study Geopolitics, Department of Political Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh. I have done my Masters and M.Phil. in Defence and Strategic Studies.

Viewing cyber security through human security lens: challenges and prospects in the context of the Arctic

Prof. Kamrul Hossain1

1Northern Institute For Environmental and Minority Law / Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi, Finland

Cyber security’s connection to human security is not self-evident given that often security in cyber space is measured through national security interests. However, humans are increasingly being dependent on ICT-based functions in their everyday lives. These functions require safe and secure systems where computer networks operate in cyberspace. It is about protecting data from unauthorized access, vulnerabilities and attacks delivered via internet by cyber criminals. Protecting machine tools, operators, sensors and anything, that can otherwise be corrupted or disrupted and would lead to mal-functioning of for example digitally-driven infrastructures or devices, can also be referred to as cyber security threats. Various aspects of cyber-security issues interact with societal and human dimension of security. For example, access to internet / information today is referred to as part of human rights. Similarly non-disrupted functioning of critical infrastructures (increasingly digitally driven) provides both safety and security in societal context. Against this background, this presentation explores how sparsely populated Arctic region – which is undergoing a rapid transformation driven by the forces of climate change and economic globalization – and its population perceive challenges and opportunities resulted from increasing digital and cyber infrastructure as both threats as well as enablers in their everyday life.


Dr. Kamrul Hossain is a Research Professor and the Director of the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law (NIEM) at the Arctic Centre in the University of Lapland. He is also an Adjunct Professor of International Law at the University of Lapland. He leads a number of international research projects at the Arctic Centre. Dr. Hossain has extensively published in the field of international law as well as in law and human rights that apply to the Arctic.

the Arctic as frontier and ‘laboratory’ of international intelligence collection

Dr Pierluigi Salvati1

1University Of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy

An old Inuit saying goes: «Only when the ice breaks will you truly know who is your friend and who is your enemy».

The Arctic has been warming faster than anywhere else on the planet: it is estimated that by 2020, about 50% of the ice pack will be dissolved, and between 2030 and 2050 the Arctic summers will be characterized by the total absence of ice. Therefore, the area will be soon revealing an estimated $17.2 trillion amount of fossil fuel resources trapped for eons, with further and easier access to the navigation routes.

For these reasons, the Arctic has become the crossroad of international espionage and the new frontier of the global confrontation between traditional (Russia, the U.S., Canada, Norway, Denmark) and new (the E.U., China) “polar” actors.

The present paper will start from the analysis of the legal regime applicable to the activities of intelligence collection in the Arctic, to be mainly found in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), lacking an ‘Arctic Treaty’ ad modum of Antarctica. Then it will dwell on the recent developments mainly due to the increasing activism of new subjects that could lead to a substantial change.


JSD in International Law and Cultore della Materia (Honorary Fellow) at the University of Naples Federico II, my research topics mainly focus on intelligence collection and international law, cyber election meddling and principle of non-intervention.

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