Panels Announced for State of the Net 2018

In 14 years of planning the State of the Net Conference, we’ve never seen a more interesting, challenging, and complex set of policy issues on the table. We plan on tackling all of them on January 29 and we hope you join your colleagues in Washington. We’ll start announcing our speakers soon. In the meantime, here are some of the topics that you won’t want to miss at State of the Net. The issues are still evolving and we’ll put more topics on the agenda as they develop.

Internet Expression: Truth, Trust, Transparency, & Tribalism

“The intel wasn’t 100%.” In the aftermath of Pizzagate, what sources of information and which speakers can be trusted? We have had to create a new lexicon to understand the state of free expression on the Internet: Fake news, troll-farms, disinformation, nation-state sponsored advertising, post-fact society, data injection attacks, narrative-laundering, networked propaganda, to name a few. Solutions to these problems are far more complex than most are willing to believe. We have to start somewhere.

The Fragmentation of Communications Policy

The policy framework guiding communications policy has never been more fragmented and uncertain. The FCC is expected to undo its “Open Internet,” Congress recently rolled back FCC privacy rules (which some states are taking up), and the House and Senate are drafting legislation.

The Witches’ Brew of Cyber Security: Beyond Money and Mischief

During a recent Homeland Security Committee hearing Chairman Ron Johnson asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to describe the “witches’ brew” of cyber security threats. Wray painted a picture of “a blurring between different kinds of threats,” from nation-state actors working with hackers-for-hire enlisting troll farms and autonomous bots. Now some of them are using NSA-developed weapons released into the wild. Money and mischief are no longer the only motivations for these attacks.

Internet Governance: Are We In A Post Multi-Stakeholder World?

2018 may be the most significant year in terms of Internet governance since the dawn of the Internet. The Trump Administration’s preference for bilateral deals is at odds with the previous Administration’s multi-stakeholder approach. Will nation states, having just witnessed of the awesome power of the Internet in the period between Arab Spring and the 2017 elections, seek to exploit lack of consensus for greater control?

Authentication in Post-Equifax World: Blockchain Beyond Bitcoin

The massive Equifax breach demonstrated that our antediluvian Internet authentication methods should have been left back in the last century. Yet, blockchain technology has quietly been growing as a versatile ledger for all sorts of authenticated transactions beyond currency. The applications are endless. Our panel will explore how blockchain may be the answer to our public policy prayers in a post Equifax world.

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Congresswoman Suzan Delbene with board member Julie Samuels. Click to watch a short video about State of the Net.

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