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Internet Security, Internet Freedom

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
9:00 am


Friend Center Convocation Room
35 Olden Street
Princeton, 08544 United States
+ Google Map

Hashtag: #isif

Video Recordings:

Keynote video
Panel 1
Panel 2
Panel 3

The internet is at once a means for great openness and great control — expression and exclusion. These forces have long been at work online, but have recently come to the fore in debates over the United States’ cyber security policy and its increased focus on “internet freedom.” The country now has a Cybersecurity “czar” that has presented a 12-part national initiative, and also has a Secretary of State who has forcefully stated the case for internet freedom. But what do these principles mean in practice?

This workshop explores how security and freedom both compliment each other and compete. A spectrum of security risks at different layers of the network beg for technical and governance solutions. Flash points like the recent Google-in-China developments highlight the nexus of security and speech. A growing discourse about internet freedom calls out for workable theories and models. This event will bring together technologists, policymakers, and academics to discuss the state of play and viable ways forward.

This workshop is free and open to the public. To register, please RSVP to with your full name and affiliation. Registered attendees will receive lunch and a name tag.

Registration and Breakfast (8:00 AM – 9:00 AM)

Keynote (9:00 AM – 10:00 AM)

Alec Ross, Senior Advisor for Innovation in the Office of Secretary of State

Internet Security (10:30 AM – 12:00 PM)

A combination of protocols and practices hold together the heart of the internet, but most users are entirely unaware of their existence. How have things like global routing, DNS, and SSL certificates maintained relative stability despite their shortcomings? Are these technologies and they ways that they are used truly secure? What recent examples point to fractures in these systems? What alternatives exist? How do policymakers account for these technical realities?


  • Jennifer Rexford, Princeton Department of Computer Science (panel chair)
  • Herb Lin, National Academies
  • Ron Lee, Arnold & Porter
  • Eric Rescorla, Skype Labs

Internet Freedom (1:30 PM – 3:00 PM)

The term “internet freedom” has garnered tremendous attention since Secretary of State Clinton gave her forceful remarks January, but what does it mean? Is this a new concept or have we been working with an implicit notion of such freedom for some time? Does internet freedom imply more than just effective circumvention of censorship? Do the most effective strategies for promoting internet freedom consist of technical measures, diplomatic measures, trade policy, or something else?


  • Ethan Zuckerman, Berkman Center for Internet & Society (panel chair)
  • Cynthia Wong, Center for Democracy and Technology
  • Duy Hoang, Viet Tan
  • Adrian Hong, Pegasus Project

Security and Freedom in Practice (3:30 PM – 5:00 PM)

Ultimately, internet security and freedom become intertwined in unexpected ways. In many cases, decisionmakers view a particular policy or practice from only one perspective at a time. How do US companies’ decisions to include security-enhancing features ultimately give leverage to oppressive governments? What legal mandates to surveil under judicial oversight ultimately facilitate unforeseen chilling of speech? Why did the Google cybersecurity breach at the hands of alleged Chinese “hackers” turn into an internet freedom issue that now sees them reversing their filtering practices? Is this a matter of human rights, trade, or more?


  • Rebecca Mackinnon, Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy (panel chair)
  • Ian Brown, Oxford Internet Institute
  • Alex Halderman, University of Michigan
  • Frank Hecker, IronKey, also Owner of Mozilla CA Certificates Module

The Friend Center Building is located on Olden Street between Nassau and Prospect. It is on the corner of William and Olden, across the street from the E-Quad and next to the Computer Science Building. You can use the following address for a GPS: 35 Olden Street, Princeton, New Jersey. Enter the building through the main doors off Olden Street. The Convocation Room is the first room on your right past the lobby.

Commuting Directions

Parking and Campus Shuttle Service

Please see the Visitor Parking website for information regarding parking in the appropriate visitor lots on campus. If you park in Lot 21, please take the East Commuter Line shuttle service to the Friend Center building. For more information regarding the campus shuttle, including shuttles from the Dinky Station, please see the Campus Shuttle website.

There is also metered parking along William, Olden, and Prospect Streets. The meters on Olden between William and Prospect are less expensive than the meters on William and Olden from Nassau to William.

To see exactly where the Friend Center is located, go to Princeton University’s campus map, click on the drop down menu and go to “Friend Center.”

Recommended Lodging

The Nassau Inn, Ten Palmer Square, Princeton, NJ 08542 – Phone: 609.921.7500. The Nassau Inn is within walking distance to campus.

The Residence Inn Princeton at Carnegie Center, 3563 US Route 1, Princeton, NJ 08540 – Phone: 609.799.0550. The Residence Inn does provide shuttle bus service to campus.