State of the Net 2019

Internet Education Foundation

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 2:00pm to 11:00pm

A Preview Of The Topics

The State of the Net will cover the waterfront of issues with keynotes from decisionmakers across the political spectrum. We will also curate panels with speakers who will drill down on the issues in greater detail. Some of the topics will include the following.

Commercial Privacy: The California privacy law combined with the EU’s GDPR have created significant momentum for federal commercial data legislation for the first time in decades. SOTN19 will feature two discussions looking at the topic in more depth.

Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms: Policymakers continue to express alarm at the rate at which tech firms are incorporating AI into all facets of business, infrastructure, and government. While calls to slow down innovation are rarely effective, policymakers and policy experts are acknowledging the need for a careful examination of the impact of algorithms on all aspects of society and business.

Internet Policy on the Campaign Trail: We’ve rarely seen our Internet policy issues at State of the Net discussed on the stump in campaigns for the House, the Senate, governors’ mansions, and attorneys general. But, will we look back at 2018 as the turning point where our issues started to appear alongside issues like immigration, health care, guns, the economy, and national security. We’ve assembled a panel of political experts who have analyzed various races and will discuss how Internet issues affected their outcomes. They will also predict what’s in store for 2020.

Future of Work: Rapid technological innovation is bringing shifts in the American workforce — and even in the idea of work itself. The lack of clarity on what these changes mean for average Americans has led to calls for a discussion of how our institutions can best prepare workers for the new economy. With multiple stakeholders in the process, including governments, education institutions, technology firms, and of course the workers themselves, adapting to the new economy will require incorporating multiple perspectives and opinion. This panel will examine the future of work from these different stakeholders, and bring forth ideas for a common way forward.

The Internet Governance Cold War: Just recently former Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicted that in 10 to 15 years the Internet would most likely be split in two. Other experts are predicting that the Internet — and its governing architecture — is a new battleground for a geopolitical cold war where powerful nation-states fight for control of everything from IP addressing to massive blockchains. Our pane will explore whether we are entering the high stakes Internet Cold War and what, if anything, can be done to avert it.

Content Expression on the Internet Commons: We’ve reached a crisis of trust in our society’s sources of information just as the lines between traditional media and Internet media have all but vanished. The Internet platforms are struggling to deal with a host of challenges in regulating offensive speech. At the same time, the U.S. government remains hamstrung by the First Amendment to intervene directly. What is the future of expression online?

Telecom and the Balance of Power: With the House of Representative changing hands we’ll explore whether Congress can move forward on critical issues such as the digital divide, connecting rural communities, and create a legislative framework for communications technologies in the 116th.

More: Several other panels are underdevelopment.

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