Daedalus Issue on “The Internet”

Press release: “Thirty years ago, the Internet was a network that primarily delivered email among academic and government employees. Today, it is rapidly evolving into a control system for our physical environment through the Internet of Things, as mobile and wearable technology more tightly integrate the Internet into our everyday lives.

How will the future Internet be shaped by the design choices that we are making today? Could the Internet evolve into a fundamentally different platform than the one to which we have grown accustomed? As an alternative to big data, what would it mean to make ubiquitously collected data safely available to individuals as small data? How could we attain both security and privacy in the face of trends that seem to offer neither? And what role do public institutions, such as libraries, have in an environment that becomes more privatized by the day?

These are some of the questions addressed in the Winter 2016 issue of Daedalus on “The Internet.”  As guest editors David D. Clark (Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) and Yochai Benkler (Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and Faculty Co-Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University) have observed, the Internet “has become increasingly privately owned, commercial, productive, creative, and dangerous.”

Some of the themes explored in the issue include:

  • The conflicts that emerge among governments, corporate stakeholders, and Internet users through choices that are made in the design of the Internet
  • The challenges—including those of privacy and security—that materialize in the evolution from fixed terminals to ubiquitous computing
  • The role of public institutions in shaping the Internet’s privately owned open spaces
  • The ownership and security of data used for automatic control of connected devices, and
  • Consumer demand for “free” services—developed and supported through the sale of user data to advertisers….

Essays in the Winter 2016 issue of Daedalus include:

  • The Contingent Internet by David D. Clark (MIT)
  • Degrees of Freedom, Dimensions of Power by Yochai Benkler (Harvard Law School)
  • Edge Networks and Devices for the Internet of Things by Peter T. Kirstein (University College London)
  • Reassembling Our Digital Selves by Deborah Estrin (Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medical College) and Ari Juels (Cornell Tech)
  • Choices: Privacy and Surveillance in a Once and Future Internet by Susan Landau (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
  • As Pirates Become CEOs: The Closing of the Open Internet by Zeynep Tufekci (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Design Choices for Libraries in the Digital-Plus Era by John Palfrey (Phillips Academy)…(More)

See also: Introduction