Internet governance conflicts are the new spaces where political and economic power is unfolding in the 21st century. Technologies of Internet governance increasingly mediate freedom of expression and individual privacy. They are entangled with national security and global commerce. The distributed nature of Internet governance technologies is shifting historic control over these public interest areas from sovereign nation-states to private ordering and new global institutions. The term "Internet governance" conjures up a host of global controversies such as the prolonged Internet outage in Syria during political turmoil or Google's decision not to acquiesce to U.S. government requests to remove an incendiary political video from YouTube. It invokes narratives about the United Nations "taking over" the Internet, NSA surveillance revelations, cybersecurity concerns about denial of service attacks, and the mercurial privacy policies of social media companies. These issues exist only at the surface of a technologically concealed and institutionally complex ecosystem of governance that is generally out of public view.
In this signature lecture, CIGI Senior Fellow Laura DeNardis will discuss her new book, The Global War for Internet Governance, which explains how the Internet is currently governed, particularly through the sinews of power that exist in technical architecture and new global institutions, and presents several brewing Internet governance controversies that will affect the future of economic and expressive liberty.