Laura DeNardis

Nov 11, 2020

The Internet in Everything

Freedom and Security in a World with No Off Switch


Most people recognize that the internet is growing at an exponential rate. But few have thought as deeply as Laura DeNardis, a Professor and Interim Dean at the School of Communication at American University, about what those changes will mean for privacy, security, human rights, and democracy.

In The Internet in Everything: Privacy and Security in a World With No Off Switch (Yale, 2020), Professor DeNardis shows that the policy tools and normative constructs we have built around the internet are outdated. The internet has evolved from a system of communication to one of control—and that demands a new approach to internet governance.

On this episode, I talked with Dr. DeNardis about why we need to move beyond an understanding of internet governance as content governance; whether governments can resist exploiting cybersecurity vulnerabilities; and why she thinks ‘internet freedom’ is a “somewhat fetishized ideal.” At one point, Dr. DeNardis’s dog weighs in on the virtues of techno-libertarianism.

We wrap up with some predictions for the future of the multi-stakeholder governance model and Dr. DeNardis’s thoughts on 2020.

John Sakellariadis is a 2020-2021 Fulbright US Student Research Grantee. He holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree in History & Literature from Harvard University.

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