Communication Colloquia Series: Jeremy Hunsinger
November 6, 2013
Jeremy Hunsinger holds a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Tech. He is an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research agenda analyzes the transformations of knowledge in the modes of production in the information age. At Virginia Tech, he was one of the founders of the Center for Digital Discourse and Culture and a 2006 Scholar Fellow. He attended the Oxford Internet Institute’s 2004 Summer Doctoral Programme and was an instructor there in 2009, 2011 and 2012. He was Graduate Fellow of the NSF Workshop on Values in Information Systems Design in 2005 and 2010. He was an Ethics Fellow at the Center for Information Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2007-2010. He has co-edited 7 books including three handbooks. He was co-editor of the journal Learning Inquiry and has published in FastCapitalism, The Information Society, Social Epistemology and other leading academic journals.
Darknets, anti-systemic resistance, versus the technicities of the internet control
This paper argues that the effects of extreme governance on internet technologies, specifically the control of networks and content regulations of the contemporary surveillance states are generating significant increase in development of darknet systems as systems of resistance that operate within and through internet systems. Specifically, I argue that as governments seek more surveillance and control over the internet, they will have less control of technical elites. Darknets are securitized internet networks that operate either over existing networks through encrypted traffic on those networks, or increasingly they are mixes of those networks and either planned or ad-hoc mesh networks. Mesh networks are computer to computer networks that route date across, by routing it through the computers themselves sans intermediation by the internet. While these darknets exist within and through the commercial internet, their traffic,can be governed by the commercial providers and the governments that govern those providers, mesh routing bypasses even that control and forces a different strategy to address the governance of content and its distribution. This new strategy for surveillance and control of media is device based monitoring, but even that might be bypassed by using non-standard operating environments. Thus I conclude that given the socio-technical parameters of future darknets, that the governments who seek to regulate and control content on the internet are forced into position of either hypersurveillance of individual devices or to abdicate monitoring and content provision to the communities themselves. This paper derives from analyses of proposals and developments in publicly accessible darknet development communities. It analyzes their rhetorico-discursive positions in order to understand their likely systems of resistance to government governance of content and network traffic in relation to the technical systems they use.
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