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The Lifecycle of a Revolution (Keynote)

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Published on Aug 10, 2015

by Jennifer Granick

In the early days of the public internet, we believed that we were helping build something totally new, a world that would leave behind the shackles of age, of race, of gender, of class, even of law. Twenty years on, "cyberspace" looks a lot less revolutionary than it once did. Hackers have become information security professionals. Racism and sexism have proven resiliant enough to thrive in the digital world. Big companies are getting even bigger, and the decisions corporationsnot just governmentsmake about security, privacy, and free speech affect hundreds of thousands, or millions, of people. The Four Horsemen of the Infocalypseterrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderersare driving online policy as governments around the world are getting more deeply involved in the business of regulating the network. Meanwhile, the Next Billion Internet Users are going to connect from Asia and developing countries without a Bill of Rights. Centralization, Regulation, and Globalization are the key words, and over the next twenty years, we'll see these forces change digital networks and information security as we know it today. So where does that leave security, openness, innovation, and freedom?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is being used to weld the hood of cars shut to keep engine software safe from mechanics. Will we still have the Freedom to Tinker even in the oldest of technologies? What does it mean that the U.S. is a big player in the zero-day market even as international agreements seek to regulate exploit code and surveillance tools? Will we see liability for insecure software and what does that mean for open source? With advances in artificial intelligence that will decide who gets run over, who gets a loan, who gets a job, how far off can legal liability regimes for robots, drones, and even algorythms be? Is the global Internet headed for history's dustbin, and what does a balkanized network mean for security, for civil rights?

In this talk, Granick will look forward at the forces that are shaping and will determine the next 20 years in the lifecycle of the revolutionary communications technology that we've had such high hopes for.

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