Internet Infrastructure Politics – Talk by Dr.Denardis

The Internet is no longer a communication system. It is also a control system in which more everyday objects than people are connected to the network. Society is shifting from a world in which content is digitally mediated to one in which all of life – (crypto)currency, cars, industrial control systems, medical devices – is digitally mediated. Internet freedom is no longer merely about content and communication rights. Arrangements of technical architecture, and the policies enacted around this architecture, are arrangements of power shaping civil liberties and human security. Internet infrastructure and governance becomes more concealed as the Internet diffuses out of screens and into everyday material and biological objects. Technologies of Internet governance, including the Domain Name System (DNS), protocols, Internet Exchange Points, names and IP addresses, cyber security systems, and transmission systems are at the heart of high-profile global battles over the rising economic and social stakes of cyberspace. At the same time, governments are increasingly co-opting (and sometimes tampering with) these infrastructures to achieve political and economic objectives in ways (e.g. local DNS redirection for content blocking, data localization laws, and encryption backdoors) that can actually compromise Internet security and stability. Internet architecture is now a proxy for state power, as well as the critical infrastructure upon which all economic and social life increasingly depends.

Internet governance research advances scholarship by moving from studies of Internet content to policy-engaged research that makes visible these technical infrastructures and control systems and examines the role of technical design, new global institutions, private industry policies, and national and global statutory contexts in shaping the economy, human rights, and society. In this keynote address, engineer and STS scholar Laura DeNardis discusses a research agenda for evidence-based inquiry into the public policy implications arising in emerging technical sinews of Internet infrastructure and governance.

This talk is a part of The Internet Rules, But How?

A Science and Technology Studies (STS) Take on Doing Internet Governance
05.10.2016 | 09.00 – 17.30 Uhr | HU Berlin, Dorotheenstr. 24, 10117 Berlin