The University of Southampton

Is the Internet governable? - Distinguished Faculty Lecture 11 February

Published: 29 January 2013

Daniel J. Weitzner, Director of the Decentralized Information Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will be delivering a Distinguished Faculty Lecture on Monday 11 February.

Daniel Weitzner will lecture on the subject: ‘Is the Internet Governable?’, asking if the new central nervous system of the world’s political, economic and social life is actually ungovernable.

The Internet’s third decade has begun with raging policy debates about privacy (EU Data Protection Regulation and the US Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights), copyright (the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the International Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), cybersecurity, as well as proposals to bring the Internet to heel under the control of the United Nations. Each of these debates pits efforts to impose centralized control over the flow of online information against demands for unfettered freedom for Internet users. In order to be sure that the Internet can continue to be a platform for innovation and grow to reach the 70% of the planet’s population still not online, policymakers have to tread carefully.

Beginning with a policymaker’s view of how Internet debates have played out over the last four years, Weitzner will present some fundamental principles that should guide the development of Internet public policy in the future.

Daniel J. Weitzner is co-founder and Director of the MIT CSAIL Decentralized Information Group and former White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy. Weitzner’s research group at MIT explores network and Web architectures to enable information privacy accountability. Over the course of his career in the public policy world he has led legislative and judicial efforts resulting in the first Internet free expression protections in the United States and updated privacy and civil liberties protections in the realm of government surveillance. His work at the White House led to a new Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights in the US and an agreement among 34 nations at the OECD for protection of Internet free expression and privacy.

The lecture takes place at 6 pm in the Nightingale Lecture Theatre (67/1027). No tickets are required and all are welcome. Refreshments will be available in the Nightingale Building from 5.30 pm.

This Distinguished Lecture is organized by the Faculty of Physical and Applied Sciences.

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