MIT Internet Policy Research Initiative (IPRI)

The mission of the Internet Policy Research Initiative (IPRI) is to work with policy makers and technologists to increase the trustworthiness and effectiveness of interconnected digital systems. We accomplish this through engineering and public policy research, education and engagement. There is a pressing need to bridge the gap between the technical and policy communities, and we are doing this with our fully interdisciplinary research approach that pulls together expertise from across MIT and beyond. IPRI is led by faculty researchers from engineering, social science and management labs at MIT and located at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL).

Weitzner on privacy leglisation: Now is the time
Speech to the 2nd Annual Privacy & Cybersecurity Conference of the Boston Bar Association

Weitzner on privacy leglisation: Now is the time

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Facebook/Cambridge Analytica:
Privacy lessons and a way forward

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica:

On Saturday, March 17, 2018, The Guardian and The New York Times both reported that a political research and data science firm called Cambridge Analytica had inappropriately harvested data from the Facebook profiles of over 50 million people—the vast majority of whom had not provided consent for their data to be used for political and psychological profiling. 

We’re here to provide both technical and policy background on the Cambridge Analytica (CA) incident to illustrate the extent and potential harms of the user data that was stolen, and to provide some ideas for the way forward.

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Events

Arvind Narayanan (Princeton) Visits MIT
14 Feb 2018

Arvind Narayanan (Princeton) Visits MIT

Understanding data privacy risk by re-identifying a series of purportedly anonymized datasets.

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IPRI awards $1.5 million for MIT cybersecurity research projects across campus
19 May 2017

IPRI awards $1.5 million for MIT cybersecurity research projects across campus

MIT’s interdisciplinary Internet Policy Research Initiative (IPRI) awarded $1.5 million to researchers across campus working Internet policy and cybersecurity-related research projects.

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Erin Kenneally (DHS)
1 May 2017

Erin Kenneally (DHS)

Data trust and innovation at the DHS Cyber Security Division

Final class of 6.s978 Privacy Legislation: Law and Technology
Privacy legistlation written jointly by MIT and Georgetown Law students

Final class of 6.s978 Privacy Legislation: Law and Technology

This course brings together engineering students from MIT with law students from Georgetown Law School to explore current issues in privacy policy and technology. Interdisciplinary teams, consisting of law students and MIT students, prepare a detailed legal assessment of policy questions, researching and explaining the technological frameworks and challenges associated with the policy question, and then formulating policy and technological recommendations to address the question in the form of draft state legislation.

Link to proposals
Canadian CRTC head Jean Pierre Blais discusses Canadian telecom policy
24 April 2017

Canadian CRTC head Jean Pierre Blais discusses Canadian telecom policy

Canadian CRTC head Jean-Pierre Blais and Internet pioneer and MIT Senior Research Scientist David Clark discussed the past, present, and future of Canadian telecom policy and its relationship with the U.S.

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Professor Tim Berners-Lee receives the Turing Award for 2017
The equivalent of a Nobel Prize in computer science

Professor Tim Berners-Lee receives the Turing Award for 2017

In its announcement today, ACM cited Tim Berners-Lee for “inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the web to scale.” Tim leads the Decentralized Information Group and is a principal investigator in IPRI.

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Keeping America Safe
Toward More Secure Networks for Critical Sectors

Keeping America Safe

The digital systems that control critical infrastructure in the United States and most other countries are easily penetrated and architecturally weak.

This report identifies the most strategic of these challenges and proposes a policy and research agenda that has the potential to achieve significantly higher levels of security in critical networks over a five- to ten-year period. This report makes both long- and short-term recommendations of broad applicability to critical infrastructure in the United States and, excepting certain legal and regulatory matters, to critical infrastructure globally.

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Julia Angwin
Algorithmic Accountability

Julia Angwin

MIT’s Internet Policy Research Initiative hosted a discussion in March 2017 with ProPublica’s Julia Angwin on algorithmic accountability and the role of machine learning in societal decisions, including criminal sentencing.

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Professor Tim Berners-Lee enumerates three challenges for the web
Control of personal data, the spread of misinformation, lack of transparency for political advertising

Professor Tim Berners-Lee enumerates three challenges for the web

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Research

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Blog

Blog: US Privacy Gap Widens

Published on 2017-04-13

By Daniel Weitzner TL;DR After Congressional action repealing the FCC’s Broadband Internet Access Provider privacy…

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Blog: Algorithmic Accountability

Published on 2017-04-10

Stop blaming the algorithm! Some paths forward on the question of algorithmic accountability By Marc Aidinoff…

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Learning from Tim Berners-Lee on the occasion of receiving the Turing Award

Published on 2017-04-04

2017-04-04 By Daniel Weitzner On the happy occasion of Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s receiving the…

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Speech: Brenner – Protecting America’s Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Attacks

Published on 2017-03-23

Joel Brenner gave a presentation on protecting America’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks to InfraGard,…

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Blog: Specter – On Deniability and Duress

Published on 2017-03-06

Imagine you’re at a border crossing, and the guard asks you to hand over all…

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Blog: App Inventor Mentioned in Batgirl Comics

Published on 2017-03-02

MIT App Inventor was mentioned in the latest Batgirl DC Comic Book, when Barbara Gordon,…

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Events / Seminars

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Courses

Current course: Privacy Legislation in Practice - Law and Technology
MIT Course Number: 6.S978

Current course: Privacy Legislation in Practice - Law and Technology

Engineering and law students jointly explore current issues in privacy policy and develop draft legislation that could be adopted by state governments.

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Technology + Policy

With the generous support of the Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, MIT has created the Internet Policy Research Initiative to bring together the best of MIT’s engineering, social science, and management insight to this most vexing challenge. Our goal is helping guide governments and private sector institutions around the world in framing sustainable, effective Internet and cybersecurity policy.

Course: Foundations of Internet Policy
6.805

Course: Foundations of Internet Policy

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Course: Science Technology & Public Policy
17.310/17.309/ESD103/STS82

Course: Science Technology & Public Policy

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