The Internet in Everything
Emerging Frontiers of Cyber Policy
The Internet is no longer merely a communication system. It is a control network in which more things than people are connected and in which conflicts over cyber infrastructure are a proxy for political power. This so-called Internet of things – connecting everything from industrial energy sensors to cardiac monitors to home appliances – radically escalates Internet governance concerns around privacy, discrimination, human safety, democracy, and national security. Physical and virtual boundaries have wholly collapsed and display screens are no longer an arbiter for whether someone is online or offline. The Internet is in everything. And every firm in every industry is now a tech company. Cyber policy has not yet caught up to this transformation and still primarily focuses on content-centric issues around speech and social media. The goal in democratic societies has been the preservation of a free and open Internet. Today, an outage in cyberspace is no longer about loss of communication but about loss of life. No less than human safety, national security, the digital economy, democracy, and privacy all now equally depend upon the stability and security of cyberspace. The diffusion of the Internet into the material world requires a reimagination of what counts as Internet governance and freedom and elevates cybersecurity as the great human rights issue of our time. The Internet in Everything makes visible the sinews of power already embedded in arrangements of cyber-physical systems and explores how hidden technical governance arrangements will become the constitution of our future.
Dr. Laura DeNardis
Dr. Laura DeNardis is globally recognized as one of the most read scholars in Internet governance. She is a tenured Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC, where she serves as Faculty Director of the Internet Governance Lab. In 2018, she was the recipient of American University’s highest faculty award, Scholar-Teacher of the Year. Her six books include The Global War for Internet Governance (Yale University Press 2014); Opening Standards: The Global Politics of Interoperability (MIT Press 2011); Protocol Politics: The Globalization of Internet Governance (MIT Press 2009); among others. Her new book, The Internet in Everything: Freedom and Governance in the Age of Smart Devices, is forthcoming from Yale University Press. She is an affiliated fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project and served as its Executive Director from 2008-2011. Her expertise and scholarship have been featured in Science Magazine, The Economist, National Public Radio (NPR), New York Times, Time Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Slate Magazine, Reuters, Forbes, The Atlantic, and the Wall Street Journal, among others. She holds an Engineering Science degree from Dartmouth College, an MEng from Cornell University, a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from Yale Law School.
Social complexity is thought to be a hallmark of modern life. Individuals now maintain complex personal networks of local and distant friends, family, and workmates. Nevertheless, the frequent exchange of mobile text messages has been shown to strengthen and reinforce existing social bonds, which is at odds with the general trend towards social complexity. Using 3.1 million texting and calling events, along with survey and interview data collected from five sources, I will provide nuanced discussion of mobile texting practices with friend, family, school, and work ties.
Jeffrey Boase is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the relationship between communication technology and personal networks. He is particularly interested in how emerging technologies such as smartphones and social media platforms may enable or hinder the transfer of information and support within personal networks.