Technology & Society Distinguished Speaker Series: Laura DeNardis on “The Internet in Everything: Freedom and Security in a World with No Off Switch”

March 21, 2022

Please join us for an upcoming event in the Technology & Society Distinguished Speaker Series: Advancing Human Values in a Digital Age.



Dr. Laura DeNardis, Professor and Faculty Director of the Internet Governance Lab, American University, will give a talk titled “The Internet in Everything: Freedom and Security in a World with No Off Switch on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. ET in Riggs Library in Healy Hall.

The Internet is in everything from the human body to energy systems. As the Russia-Ukraine conflict demonstrates, control of this digital infrastructure has become a proxy for political power. It was once said that no bullets would ever be fired in cyberspace. This is no longer true as the Internet has leapt from human-facing display screens into the material objects all around us. In this so-called Internet of Things, there is no longer a clear distinction between physical and virtual worlds. Everything is connected. The social and economic benefits are tremendous, but there is a downside: a disruption in cyberspace can result not only in a loss of communication but also potentially a loss of life. This diffusion of the Internet into the physical world radically escalates digital ethics and governance concerns around privacy, dignity, discrimination, human safety, democracy, and national security. As the digital world transforms from 2D into 3D, so must digital ethics and policy make this leap from two dimensional screens into the cyber-physical, material world. This talk will make visible the sinews of power already embedded in emerging cyber-physical technologies and examine the governance decisions that will shape the constitution of our human future.

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