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CITP Luncheon Speaker Series: Nick Feamster – Dissecting the FCC’s New Rules on ISPs and Customer Privacy

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
12:30 pm


Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space
Princeton, NJ 08544 United States + Google Map

No RSVP required for current Princeton faculty, staff, and students. Open to members of the public by invitation only. Please contact Jean Butcher at if you are interested in attending a particular lunch.

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released new rules that govern how and under what circumstances ISPs can share consumer data with third parties, including advertisers, third-party service providers, vendors, and security researchers. Researchers at Princeton CITP provided significant input into the rule, particularly on points relating to encryption, network traffic monitoring, privacy and de-anonymization, network security, and the use of network data for networking and security research. I will first present a brief history of the rulemaking and offer my perspective on and first-hand experiences with the FCC’s rulemaking process. I will also discuss some of the highlights of the rule itself, as well as its bearing on various stakeholders, including consumers, ISPs, and networking and security researchers. I’ll conclude with some thoughts and lessons learned about my experiences as a (rare) technologist in the world of tech policy.


Nick Feamster is currently serving as the acting director of CITP from June 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. Nick is also a professor in the Computer Science Department at Princeton University. Before joining the faculty at Princeton, he was a professor in the School of Computer Science at Georgia Tech. He received his Ph.D. in Computer science from MIT in 2005, and his S.B. and M.Eng. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2000 and 2001, respectively. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Technology Review “TR35” award, a Sloan Fellowship, and the SIGCOMM Rising Star Award for his contributions to cybersecurity, notably spam filtering. His research focuses on many aspects of computer networking and networked systems, with a focus on network operations, network security, and censorship-resistant communication systems. His research interests overlap with technology policy in the areas of censorship, broadband access networks, and network security and privacy.