CITP Luncheon Speaker Series: Guy Grossman – The Role of Networks in Explaining Uptake of ICT for Political Communication

Sherrerd Hall, 3rd floor open space Princeton, NJ, United States

Information communication technology (ICT) is an increasingly common form of political communication in the developing world. Adoption of ICT for contacting public officials at both the individual and community level varies considerably, however, and adoption rates are often much lower than expected. What explains why some individuals and communities are more likely to adopt ICT for political communication than others? In this paper, we investigate this question by conducting a network mapping exercise in 16 Ugandan villages in which a new ICT platform — U-Bridge — was rolled out in 2014. Half of the villages exhibited high uptake and half exhibited low uptake. We find that networks play an important role in explaining uptake at the individual and village level. At the individual level, one’s network position in the village matters. Individuals that have many connections and that are connected to many adopters are more likely to adopt. At the village level, villages where networks have more highly connected members (higher average degree) tend to display wider uptake, because individuals are more likely to be exposed to potential adopters. We further discuss the policy implications of these findings.

CITP Lecture Series: Julie Zoller – Diplomacy Meets Technology Policy

Sherrerd Hall, 3rd Floor Open Space

Information and communications technologies (ICTs) enrich everyday life and are essential to the global economy. Whether it is the allocation of the radio frequency spectrum for mobile wireless, supporting the free flow of information, or adopting voluntary technical standards, we need international policies that foster innovation and economic growth. This talk will explore how the United States engages stakeholders to develop international policy positions and negotiates with foreign governments to advance tomorrow’s technologies.

Internet Privacy Technology and Policy: What Lies Ahead?

Sherrerd Hall, 3rd Floor Open Space

Last November, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a landmark privacy rule governing how Internet service providers (ISPs) could collect and share customer data. On April 4, 2017, President Trump signed a joint resolution that repealed this rule before it could ever take effect.

This panel will discuss how we arrived at this juncture and how the Internet privacy landscape may evolve in light of these developments. We will also explore the roles (and shortcomings) of both policy and technical mechanisms in protecting user privacy on the Internet.

CITP Luncheon Speaker Series: Paul Schmitt – Hastily-built Connectivity: A Case Study of Mobile Access in Za’atari Syrian Refugee Camp

Sherrerd Hall, 3rd Floor Open Space

Despite the appearance of uniform availability of mobile services, in many locales granular network analyses reveal the persistence of physical access divides. In this work, we conduct a cellular measurement study in the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. Our findings show that, even in the limited confines of a refugee camp, coverage patterns and bandwidth availability differ significantly both within and between the networks of three mobile cellular carriers. We also explore a hybrid cellular system, informed by the measurement campaign, designed to alleviate user-facing resource congestion on commercial cellular networks using a non-cooperative local cellular network.

Special Event: Net Neutrality: What Does the Future Hold?

Sherrerd Hall, 3rd Floor Open Space

The 2015 Open Internet Rules were recently repealed by the FCC on a 3-2, party-line vote. What does this mean for home Internet users? Who will protect consumers? How will the change affect innovation and entrepreneurship? Will there be more investment in broadband deployment? Will interconnection strategies change? Will information be censored for political, commercial, or other reasons? At this special panel, sponsored by the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP), experts will talk about what to expect following the FCC vote.