professor Alexander gamero-garrido

Event Date

⭐️ Presented by the Office of Academic Diversity, part of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Alexander Gamero-Garrido

Assistant Professor, Computer Science

Interactions Between the Internet & Policy: Impacts on Security, Privacy & Resilience

The Internet is an essential service. Yet, its connecting infrastructure remains poorly understood, particularly at the country level. This obscurity hampers efforts to evaluate both the resilience of the Internet as well as the security and privacy of digital communications. In this talk, I will present research approaches that I have developed at the intersection of Internet technologies and public policy. My methods empirically and quantitatively assess the resilience, privacy and security of the Internet in many jurisdictions worldwide. The focus of this presentation is on three key research questions: (1) Which countries have the most centralized networks? Centralized infrastructure is problematic as it is less resilient to observation and disruption. (2) Which countries’ networks are dominated by state-owned Internet providers? These countries are exposed to government surveillance and the infringement of civil liberties, particularly in autocracies. (3) Do privacy laws impact the location of web servers? If servers are located in jurisdictions with weaker privacy protections than those of the users’ home nations, users may thus be exposed to unlawful surveillance by advertisers and foreign governments. My studies answer these questions by collecting empirical data on the Internet at global scale and developing novel data-analysis frameworks, along with linking Internet features to policies and individual harms. A key result of this research is the identification of countries that are most exposed to Internet surveillance, especially by governments and advertisers. My presentation concludes with future directions on the impacts of Internet technologies and related policy on historically marginalized communities worldwide.

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