Corinne Cath-Speth is a PhD student at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Alan Turing Institute for data science and AI. She is a cultural anthropologist with a particular interest in Internet governance culture. Her PhD is focused on the advocacy efforts of human rights’ and civil liberties’ NGOs within Internet governance organizations, who are aiming to change computer code instead of legal code.
Her talk entitled “Changing Minds & Machines: Human Rights advocacy and Anthropology in Internet Governance” will present some of her initial findings and place those within the current debate about the "turn to the infrastructure" (Denardis & Musiani 2015; Musiani et al 2016) as well as the role of infrastructural Internet companies — like Cloudflare — in shaping online political debates. Her research is based on four years of online and offline participant observation, 65 interviews with engineers, human rights activists, civil society funders and government representatives, and document analysis.
Her talk will add to existing scholarship that critically examines the impact of Internet governance culture on society, bringing a novel perspective from the Internet’s lower layers by locating recent human rights efforts within it.