Research

These are placeholder descriptions of my current and active research areas; I hope to expand and clarify this section soon.

Scaling Protocol to Architecture: The values and priorities encoded in Internet protocols are mutated beyond recognition when these protocols are scaled to architecture. My first book, forthcoming with MIT Press, is a study of the relationship between Internet protocols (i.e. systematized rules governing communication) and Internet architectures (i.e. the structure of the relationships between components of the Internet). Entitled Inventing Protocol: The Internet and Its Crises, it provides actionable insights on the politics of scale.

Ubiquitous Cryptography: Our laws, policy, and culture have yet to come to terms with the consequences of ubiquitous cryptography—the condition in which it is not only our information but our information architecture that is entirely encrypted. This will not, as is assumed in popular culture, usher in a new era of political freedom. We draw on our extensive analysis of encryption technologies to provide a new framework for understanding cryptography as political power.

Name, Address, and Parameter Policy: The protocols that govern Internet communications all rely on “unique identifiers” such as Internet Protocol addresses and domain names. Unique identifiers require coordinated management. More news in the first half of 2018.

Cyberspace and National Security: Until a better policy and legal framework is in place, cyberweapons could start a global conflict. Something’s in the pipe; more soon. I am also developing a course on this topic for Fall 2018.

Autonomous System Topologies: Autonomous Systems are networks of networks that are typically run by a single organization, and which link with others to form the fabric of the Internet. Current research on their topology (e.g. the map of how Autonomous Systems interconnect, and quantitative analysis of those connections) tells us little about how this topology reflects political and economic forces. This work will use topology as a window into global political and economic shifts.

Experimental and Collaborative Ethnography: I am working with the team behind the The Platform for Experimental, Collaborative Ethnography (PECE, pronounced “peace”), which is a Drupal-based platform for archiving, analyzing, and presenting combining epistemologically unique data while retaining that uniqueness.