Three books for the end of 2015

abecedairepm palgrave rapportAN

This year has been quite prolific on publications (several projects coming to an end!) In particular, three book-length works in which I have played an important role are now published, or will before the end of 2015:

Table ronde « Nains sans géants » 4 juin

vignette-nains-2_1_3 Très heureuse d’annoncer cette table ronde qui me verra discuter privacy, surveillance, réseaux P2P et stratégies européennes en très belle compagnie! Merci aux Presses des Mines, au CSI, à la CNIL et à la CVPIP de la rendre possible.
—–

L’ouvrage Nains sans géants de Francesca Musiani a été récompensé par le Prix de thèse CNIL.

À cette occasion, les Presses des Mines, le Centre de sociologie de l’innovation de Mines ParisTech, la CNIL et la Chaire Valeurs et politiques des informations personnelles de l’Institut Mines-Telecom ont le plaisir de vous inviter à une table ronde autour du thème:

Décentralisation et vie privée : une voie européenne ?

le jeudi 4 juin 2015 à 17h30

à Mines ParisTech 60 boulevard Saint-Michel – 75006 Paris
salle V109

Avec:

Philippe Aigrain, philosophe et informaticien, membre de la commission « droits et libertés à l’âge du numérique » de l’Assemblée nationale.

Jean-Marc Manach, journaliste spécialiste de privacy et surveillance à l’ère du numérique, animateur du blog « Bug Brother » sur Le Monde (sous réserve).

Cécile Méadel, professeure à Mines ParisTech.

Francesca Musiani, chargée de recherche CNRS à l’Institut des sciences de la communication, membre de la commission « droits et libertés à l’âge du numérique » de l’Assemblée nationale.

Alain Rallet, professeur émérite d’économie à Paris-Sud, directeur adjoint de l’Institut de la Société Numérique (ISN) du Campus de Paris Saclay.

Vincent Toubiana, expert technique pour la CNIL, développeur de TrackMeNot.

La table ronde sera suivie d’un cocktail.

Inscription obligatoire ici!

CNRS, and a few more news

The early fall has been busy. So busy that, apart from sharing the programme of the final symposium of the ADAM research project, I haven’t even taken the time to share here what was keeping me busy. :)

LogoISCCThe biggest piece of news is that, since October 1st, 2014, I have taken up a position as researcher with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS or Centre national de la recherche scientifique; the equivalent of what is, in several other countries, the National Research Council). I am affiliated with the Institute for Communication Sciences (ISCC). I am, simply put, delighted. From my perspective, there could hardly have been a better outcome of my job search: based at an Institute whose mission is to blend communication studies with STS, working with a few colleagues who are already established collaborators and friends, and with a personal, long-term research project seeking to bridge Internet governance research with STS.

Those of you that are wondering what I plan to do for the next few years will probably find this article somewhat enlightening. As it has been published on Science, Technology and Human Values, and apart from the fact that it sets out my research programme for the close future, I consider this article one of the success stories of my early fall (yes, yes, even us « green open access » freaks DO care a little bit about impact factors!)

The past couple of months have also been heavy on interesting, if somewhat draining, event organization. I had taken a number of (calculated) risks with the programme of the ADAM final symposium, by putting together researchers of at least five different disciplines with a number of practitioners, but it appears that, with a few glitches, the symposium went well. I’m hoping to put online videos for most of the talks quite soon. This event (which symbolically marked the end of six years at CSI-MINES ParisTech) had been preceded in mid-September by the AlterNet seminar, in London.

The ComNum, launched in June 2014, has resumed proceedings and issued its first recommendations. We now have a website where most of the session videos are archived.

All I can say is this starts quite well — up to me to make the most of it in the months and years to come. ;)

ADAM Symposium, October 2-3, 2014

The final symposium of the ANR ADAM project is coming up next week! I’m quite excited and hopeful to bring four years of work on the social, political, economic and juridical implications of distributed network architectures to a worthy end. Attendance to the symposium is free of charge – please inform me of your presence (for one of the two days, or both), by writing to francesca (dot) musiani (at) gmail (dot) com. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

« Reclaiming the Internet » with distributed architectures: rights, technologies, practices, innovation

Final Symposium of the ADAM project (October 2-3, 2014, MINES ParisTech, 60 boulevard Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris)

 

LOGO i3 arrondi vertlogo_mines_paristechTelecomParisTech_logo_200_01accueil_band1

 

 

Thursday, October 2

 

10-10:30am. Arrival of participants/Registration

 

10:30-10:45am. Introduction/Welcome: Cécile Méadel, Alexandre Mallard & Francesca Musiani (CSI MINES ParisTech)

 

10:45-11:30am. Keynote #1: Dominique Boullier (SciencesPo). Cosmopolitical network architectures

 

11:30am-1:30pm. Session #1: “Case Studies in Decentralization”

Nicolas Bertrand (Utopia/IRIT) & Julien Rabier (FFDN). Introducing a new framework for digital cinema transport: The DCP Bay

Nick Lambert & Benjamin Bollen (Maidsafe.net). The SAFE Network, a new, decentralized Internet

Jean-Christophe Plantin (University of Michigan/Université de Technologie de Compiègne). ‘Unicorns exist, but only in the Google office’: promises and perils of web data for research

Maya Bacache & Julia Cagé (Télécom ParisTech). Pair-à-Pair: les véritables enjeux économiques

Discussant: Ksenia Ermoshina (CSI MINES ParisTech)

 

1:30-2:30pm. Lunch (on site, provided)

 

2:45-3:30pm: Keynote #2: Niva Elkin-Koren (University of Haifa). Beyond Design: The Role of Law in Distributed Architectures

 

3:30-5:30pm. Session #2: “Decentralization: ‘Code is Law’ Revisited?”

Argyro Karanasiou (Bournemouth University). Law Encoded: Towards a Free Speech Policy Model Based on Decentralised Architecture

Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay (Institute for Communication Sciences, CNRS, & LSE). Peer-to peer as a design principle for law: distribute the law

Primavera De Filippi (CERSA CNRS & Berkman Center). Ethereum: the quest towards a decentralized social system – when ‘dry code’ meets ‘wet code’

Roberto Caso & Federica Giovanella (Università di Trento). Liability issues in Wireless Community Networks

Discussant: Danièle Bourcier (CERSA CNRS)

 

5:30-6:15pm: Keynote #3: Panayotis Antoniadis (ETH Zurich). Local networks for local interactions: four reasons why and one way forward

 

 

Friday, October 3

 

9:30-11:30am. Session #3: “Futures of Decentralization”

Paris Chrysos (ISC Paris, Mines-Télécom). Can the Internet become distributed again? The limits of network approaches

Christian Sandvig (University of Michigan), Paul N. Edwards (University of Michigan), Jean-Christophe Plantin (University of Michigan, Université de Technologie de Compiègne), Carl Lagoze (University of Michigan). Histories of future networks: Exit, voice and loyalty in alternative infrastructures

Jeffrey Andreoni (Nottingham Trent University). Digital Gerrymandering: how wireless communities will redraw social, political and geographic boundaries

Annie Gentès & François Huguet (Télécom ParisTech). Translocal devices-as-infrastructures-networks, alternative practices, tactical networks: toward resilient media or empowerment tools?

Discussant: Valérie Schafer (ISCC/CNRS)

 

11:30am-12:15pm. Keynote #4: Vincent Toubiana (CNIL). Is a decentralized Internet better for privacy?

 

12:15am-1:15pm. Lunch (on site, provided)

 

1:15-3:15pm. Session #4: “The Decentralization of Everything?”

Darryl Farber (Pennsylvania State University). Architecting Evolving Sociotechnical Interdependent Infrastructure Systems

Sarah Gold (Central Saint Martins). Alternet Rules

Graham Meikle (University of Westminster). Distributed Citizenship and Social Media

Harry Halpin (W3C/MIT) & Alexandre Monnin (INRIA). The Decentralization of Knowledge

Discussant: Eric Dagiral (Université Paris Descartes)

 

3:15-4pm. Keynote #5: Geert Lovink (HvA Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, NL). Social Media Alternatives Before and After Snowden

 

4-4:15pm. Conclusions & Wrap-Up: Cécile Méadel, Alexandre Mallard & Francesca Musiani (CSI MINES ParisTech)

Parution de Tracés n°26, « Pirater »

traces26_revuesdotorg-small280Le numéro 26 de la revue Tracés, « Pirater », vient de paraître. Il est coordonné par Samuel Hayat et Camille Paloque-Bergès et il est consacré au piratage sous toutes ses formes (pas qu’informatiques…). Comme l’expliquent les coordonnateurs:

« Le pirate est un personnage protéiforme, tant du fait de la pluralité des phénomènes auxquels il renvoie (les pirates historiques, les figures littéraires qui s’en inspirent, les pirates des mers ou des routes contemporains, les pirates informatiques) que par la diversité des champs dans lesquels il apparaît (savant, juridique, littéraire, technique…). Il est aussi un personnage étrange, par les connotations extrêmes et contradictoires que le terme pirate charrie. Parfois incarnation de la liberté la plus absolue et objet de fascination, le pirate est parallèlement l’« ennemi du genre humain » quand il est saisi par le droit. Ce numéro a pour but de prendre au sérieux cette ambiguïté, non pas en essayant de l’enfermer dans une typologie rassurante ou une définition unique, ni en prouvant au contraire l’irréductibilité des différents phénomènes pirates, mais en s’intéressant plutôt à la façon dont cette ambivalence et cette pluralité sont produites… »

Je contribue à ce numéro de Tracés un entretien avec le journaliste d’investigation Jean-Marc Manach. Notre conversation porte sur des questions de surveillance et de ses détournements, de bricolage informatique et de piratage, de lanceurs d’alerte et d’éducation au « journalisme-hacking ». Après tout – me raconte Jean-Marc – une des dynamiques propres au réseau des réseaux est que « sur Internet, on est tous pirates… et ça c’est bien! »

Une #ComNum pour l’Assemblée nationale

L’Assemblée nationale installe demain, mercredi 11 juin, une commission de » réflexion et de propositions ad hoc sur le droit et les libertés à l’âge du numérique ». J’ai le privilège (et la surprise!) de faire partie des treize ‘personnalités qualifiées’ qui, avec treize députés, auront pour but au cours des prochains mois de formuler de recommandations et des propositions pour une législation responsable et prospective en termes de droits et libertés numériques. Si vous pensez que cela ne va pas être une mince affaire, vous avez tout à fait raison :) donc, participez et aidez-nous! Les travaux de la Commission seront, en effet, publics et interactifs. La séance d’installation sera diffusée en direct sur le site de l’Assemblée nationale demain.

En parlent Le Monde, Numerama (1 et 2), Next INpact, Regards sur le Numérique et l’Internet Policy Review.

New publications with GJIA and Springer

cover_gj130An article and a book chapter I wrote during my tenure as the 2012-13 Yahoo! Fellow at Georgetown University have been published in the past few days. The first, included in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs’s yearly special issue on international engagement in cyber, presents some of my post-doctoral research on decentralized Domain Name System projects. The second, included in the book Social Media in Politics: Case Studies on the Political Power of Social Media edited by Bogdan and Monica Patrut, explores the extent to which the Italian Five Star Movement’s « digital persona » is both a narrative construct and a set of practices, closely intertwined in what remains Italy’s main political innovation of the last few years.

NetMundial interview on gbtimes

GB-TimesIn the wake of NetMundial, taking place on April 23rd and 24th in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Julia Pohle and I have been interviewed by Janne Suokas of gbtimes. We discuss the summit’s role within the global Internet governance ecosystem, the role of developing countries (and their civil society) in IG, and what it means to meaningfully participate in an IG process. The interview is available here.

JoPP #4 Value and Currency: released

logoIssue #4 of the Journal of Peer Production, on the very timely topic of Value and Currency, is just released! It is co-edited by Nathaniel Tkacz, Nicolas Mendoza and myself, and includes an article I co-authored with Alexandre Mallard and Cécile Méadel. In the article, we analyse expert discourse on Bitcoin in light of its performative nature, and we argue that expert knowledge contributes to the very definition and shaping of trust within the Bitcoin system, ultimately contributing to the shared definition of its value as a currency.

The issue is entirely and freely available here. Here are a few excerpts of our editorial notes:

“Peer production has often been described as a ‘third mode of production’, irreducible to State or market imperatives. The creation and organisation of peer projects allegedly take place without ‘managerial commands’ or ‘price signals’, without recourse to bureaucratic apparatuses or the logic of competitive markets. Instead, and mimicking the technical architectures upon which many peer projects are based, production is described as non-hierarchical and decentralised. Group dynamics are also commonly described as ‘flat’ and this is captured, of course, in the very notion of the ‘peer’. When tested against the realities of actual projects, however, such early conceptions of peer production are, at best, in need of further elaboration and qualification. At worst, they were always off the mark. Hierarchies persist in peer production, as does competition and market-like arrangements. But perhaps it is the qualities of these new hierarchies and competitive forms that is novel. After all, liberal democracies, dictatorships, corporations, local sports clubs, and families all have their hierarchies but none is reducible to the others.

In the context of earlier understandings of peer production, the question of value and even more of currency has been rather marginal. This issue of the Journal of Peer Production (JoPP) demonstrates that theories and practices of value and currency are moving into the foreground. There has been a veritable explosion of experiments with currency and also a continuing metrics creep in many peer projects and beyond. More fundamentally, though, the question of value and how it circulates through a collective body is central to any mature theory of social organisation. In sociological and economic thought, the historical distinction between ‘values’ and ‘value’ split the non- or at least less-easily-calculable with the seemingly cold and objective world of calculation and universal commensurability. This ‘old settlement’, which never really held, nevertheless helped demarcate the economic from the social. But the intensification and extension of computational processes, manifested most clearly in the rise of big data, has lead to a proliferation of bottom-up procedures to formalise (social) values, rendering them easily calculable and lending order to the decentralised world of peers, but without necessarily replicating capitalistic calculations of value. [...]

In this issue we seek to advance the exploration and understanding of how the themes of value and currency intersect peer production. This objective presented a double challenge for the contributors and for us as editors. Indeed, the scholarly articles included in this issue have attempted to provide analytical and theoretically grounded investigations of a world that is, on the one hand, often developing more quickly than the academic publication process can account for in a timely way, and on the other hand, mostly shaped by expert-practitioners. At the same time, these contributions seek to engage not only with scholars of related issues within the academic community, but also with practitioners themselves — who, on their end, have demonstrated a strong interest in this dialogue, as the invited comments section shows.”