Joining the Internet Governance Lab as a Faculty Fellow, Dr. Eric Novotny is the Hurst Adjunct Professorial Lecturer in the School of International Service at American University. He is also Senior Advisor, Democracy, and Technology, at the U.S. Agency for International Development. In this position, Dr. Novotny designs and manages a large portfolio of programs that use advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) to stimulate economic growth, improve democratic processes, and reform governance policies in developing countries. Some of these efforts are stand-alone technology and governance projects while others embed advanced ICTs in larger development projects in applied areas such as service delivery and critical infrastructure. USAID has assistance programs in 80 countries worldwide. He holds a B.A. in Political Science, and M.A. in Government, and a Ph.D. in International Relations from Georgetown University, as well as an M.Phil in Management Studies from Oxford.
Dr. Novotny also serves as a faculty coordinator and coach for the Cyber 9/12 Student Challenge (along with Washington College of Law professor Melanie Teplinksi), a global competition designed to “encourage and educate the next generation of foreign policy leaders in cyber security issues.” Sponsored by the Atlantic Council, the annual event features teams of students from universities around the world competing to analyze, synthesize, and respond to the technical, legal, and policy issues involved in a fictional cyber security related scenario. In 2017 46 teams from 35 universities participated with AU teams winning awards three out of the past five years.
As the Program Director for the School of International Service Masters program in US Foreign Policy and Security Studies in the Fall, Dr. Novotny will teach courses in International Communication and Cyber Security Policy. In this capacity, Dr. Novotny will also continue his research, which focuses broadly on the intersection of Cyber Security and Internet Freedom, including projects titled, “Building Anti-Censorship into the Core Internet Architecture,” “Cyber Security Risk Management for Non-governmental Organizations,” and “Cyber Cabalities and Interference in the Electoral Process.”
The Internet Governance Lab at American University invites applications for a one-year post-doctoral Research Faculty appointment for Academic Year 2017-2018. The appointment is a 12-month term position and will begin Sept. 1, 2017.
More information and application instructions available here.
The Internet Governance Lab is an intellectual center providing policy-engaged thought leadership that advances the marketplace of ideas with original research, informs policy-makers and the public about complex sociotechnical problems, convenes diverse stakeholders, and educates the next generation of global thought leaders in Internet governance. American University is globally recognized for housing some of the world’s pioneering and leading scholars whose work has helped build and shape the scholarly field of Internet governance over the past decades.
The Internet Governance Lab post-doctoral fellowship is designed for scholars whose research specializes in global Internet policy and who are recent graduates of doctoral programs in communication, public policy, international relations, science and technology studies, media studies, information science, engineering, computer science, as well as recent law school graduates. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to: conduct original, policy-engaged research; to participate in and administratively support the activities of the Lab; and to engage in collaborative projects with Faculty Directors, doctoral students, and Lab affiliates. Area of Internet governance concentration is open but could include cybersecurity, Internet protocols, Internet of Things, access and interconnection, privacy, human rights, infrastructure studies, the Domain Name System, policies of private intermediaries, cyberconflict, freedom of expression, innovation, institutions of Internet governance, or intellectual property rights.
Salary is $50,000. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled, subject to ongoing budgetary approval. Please submit applications via Interfolio. Include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, recent teaching evaluations (when available), and copies of recently published papers or working papers. Please contact Aisha Green, Faculty Coordinator, 202-885-2133 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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As a massive cyberattack spread across the globe on Tuesday, cybersecurity experts gathered in Tel Aviv for Cyber Week 2017, an annual conference bringing together scholars, industry leaders, and government officials to share methods and knowledge on a range of topics relevant to cybersecurity.
Among the experts in attendance was American University School of Communication Professor and Internet Governance Lab Co-director Dr. Laura DeNardis, who delivered a presentation titled “Privacy Complications in Cyber Physical Systems,” examining the privacy and security implications of the “Internet of Things.”
Also at the conference was Washington College of Law Professor and Internet Governance Lab Faculty Fellow Jennifer Daskal, who presented her work “Data and Territory: A Round Peg in a Square Hole,” addressing conflicts of law occurring at the intersection of the Internet and jurisdiction.
Both presentations, and indeed the entire conference, could not have been more timely.
On Tuesday ransomware attacks spread from Ukraine across the globe, crippling thousands of systems, including a major shipping company, at least one airport, ATM machines, and supermarket cash registers. Coming on the heels of a similar attack in May using the WannaCry ransomware, Tuesday’s Petya ransomware attack also used Eternal Blue, one of several hacking tools stolen from the National Security Administration and leaked by a group called the Shadow Brokers. And while it is still unclear who may be behind this latest attack (the fact that neither ransomware attacks collected much in the way of ransoms is leading some to suggest proxies working on behalf of nation-states), Professor DeNardis’s presentation underscored the extent to which the Internet of things introduces countless new vectors through which malicious code can spread.
Meanwhile, Professor Daskal’s discussion focusing on the incongruities of territorial sovereignty in cyberspace proved especially salient on Wednesday as Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that it could force Google to remove search results worldwide. Also on Wednesday, Pavel Durov, founder of the controversial messaging app Telegram, agreed to comply with a Russian law that requires information technology companies operating in the country to store data locally, as well as agreeing to hand over information to Russian authorities on request.
Cyber Week 2017 runs through Thursday, June 28th. You can follow along at #CyberWeek.
SOC Ph.D. candidate Fernanda Rosa has been awarded a prestigious grant from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) to fund her dissertation research investigating the role of Internet exchange points (IXPs) in Internet governance. The project, titled “Global Internet, Local Governance: A Sociotechnical Approach to Internet Exchange Points,” examines these important sites in the Internet’s physical infrastructure from a science and technology studies (STS) perspective while making visible their impact on Internet governance and freedom of expression online.
Additionally, Ms. Rosa was awarded a 2017 Google Policy Fellowship, which will take her to Mexico City this summer where she will be conducting research for her dissertation and working with Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (R3D), a Mexican organization dedicated to the defense of human rights in the digital sphere.
We congratulate Fernanda on these impressive accomplishments and look forward to seeing what she discovers as her research proceeds. You can follow her on Twitter .
American University SOC Ph.D. student Dr. Isabelle Zaugg successfully defended her dissertation on Wednesday titled “Digitizing Ethiopic: Coding for Linguistic Continuity in the Face of Digital Extinction.” Drawing on field work conducted in Ethiopia last year as part of a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, Dr. Zaugg’s project investigates the relationship between the growth of information communication technologies and rapid declines in language diversity.
Abstract: Despite the growing sophistication of digital technologies, it appears they are contributing to language extinction on a par with devastating losses in biodiversity. With language extinction comes loss of identity, inter-generational cohesion, culture, and a global wealth of knowledge to address future problems facing humanity. Linguists estimate a 50%-90% loss of language diversity during the 21st century, with the lack of digital support for minority languages and scripts a contributing factor.
Over time, digital design has come to support an increasing number of languages, but this process has been largely market-driven, excluding languages of communities too small or poor to represent viable markets. Lack of support for a language in the digital sphere means that language communities begin using other more dominant or “prestigious’ languages for digital communication. This results in “digital extinction,” including the impossibility of raising youth fluent in their mother-tongue. Once the youth in a community have stopped using a language, it is typically on the path to extinction within the next few generations.
This research investigates the role of digital design and governance in including or excluding languages from the digital sphere through the instrumental case study of Ethiopic, a script that supports a number of languages at risk of digital extinction, including the national language of Ethiopia. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the dissertation investigates late 20th century efforts to include the Ethiopic script in Unicode-ISO/IEC 10646, the dominant digital sister standards that allow scripts of the world to appear on devices, websites, and software, as well as the ongoing challenges Ethiopic-based languages face for full digital viability in the 21st century.
Concluding with policy recommendations and best practices for digital design, governance, and advocacy efforts to preserve language diversity, this research sheds light on far-reaching implications for the public good of digital design and governance. The decisions we make about digital technologies will impact generations to come, and this dissertation asks, “Are we coding for the future we want?”
Please join us in congratulating Dr. Zaugg on her defense and wishing her well as she begins a Mellon-Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellowship in “Global Language Justice” at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University in the Fall.