gnovicon 2016: Governing the Net: The Final Frontier of Freedom?

Governing the Net: The Final Frontier of Freedom?

We enthusiastically invite you to join gnovis—Georgetown University’s student-run, peer-reviewed journal of Communication, Culture & Technology—for our annual spring conference, gnoviCon 2016. Just over one year following the 3-2 “Net neutrality” decision by the FCC, we will be exploring the idea of if and how governments can control highly complex, globally shared systems in which all humans have a stake, using the Internet as the case example par excellence. That is, even if we do accept the FCC’s conclusion that the Internet should be governed as a public utility, how can this be operationalized in the context of the many global players, including both nations and organizations, that have a stake in its use and in citizens’ access to it.

The event will feature a keynote address by the 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Tom Wheeler. Following the keynote, a panel of nationally recognized experts, representing different disciplines with a stake in the future of net neutrality, will discuss how the government, businesses, policymakers, and citizens have been affected over the past year by the decision, as well as what is at stake for our collective future.

Make sure to RSVP on Eventbrite, space is limited.

  • Where: Lohrfink Auditorium (Map)

  • When: Monday, March 21 from 11:30 to 3:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided prior to the keynote for attendees who RSVP.


  • Keynote Address: The 31st Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler

Tom_Wheeler_FCCTom Wheeler became the 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on November 4, 2013. Chairman Wheeler was appointed by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate.

For over three decades, Chairman Wheeler has been involved with new telecommunications networks and services, experiencing the revolution in telecommunications as a policy expert, an advocate, and a businessman. As an entrepreneur, he started or helped start multiple companies offering innovative cable, wireless, and video communications services. He is the only person to be selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and The Wireless Hall of Fame, a fact President Obama joked made him “The Bo Jackson of Telecom.”

Chairman Wheeler is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and the recipient of its Alumni Medal. He resides in Washington, D.C.

Panel: The Future of the Net

Moderator: Dr. Mark MacCarthy, Adjunct Professor of Communication, Culture & Technology at Georgetown University

8363Mark MacCarthy is an adjunct faculty member in the Communication, Culture, and Technology Program at Georgetown University. He teaches courses and conducts research in information privacy, global Internet freedom, tech policy, trade and the development of electronic media. He directs the CCT summer program on Trade and the Global Information Economy based in Geneva. He also teaches courses in political philosophy, philosophy & privacy and philosophy & free speech in the Philosophy Department. He is an Affiliate of the Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. He is also Vice President for Public Policy at the Software & Information Industry Association, where he advises member companies and directs public policy initiatives in technology policy, information privacy, trade, Internet governance, intellectual property and educational technology. He has been a consultant on technology policy issues for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and for the Aspen Institute. His previous public policy experience includes senior positions with Visa, Inc., the Wexler Walker Group, Capital Cities/ABC and the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. He holds a Ph.D in philosophy from Indiana University and an MA in economics from the University of Notre Dame.


Dr. Meg Leta Jones, Assistant Professor of Communication, Culture & Technology at Georgetown University

30759Prof. Meg Leta (Ambrose) Jones is an assistant professor in Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture & Technology department where she researches and teaches in the area of technology law and policy. Her research interests cover a wide range of technology policy issues including comparative censorship and privacy law, engineering design and ethics, legal history of technology, robotics law and policy, and the governance of emerging technologies. She has held fellowships and research positions with the NSF funded eCSite project in the University of Colorado Department of Computer Science, the Silicon Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado School of Law, the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and CableLabs. Prof. Ambrose received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Illinois and her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Engineering & Applied Science, Technology, Media & Society. Her current book project, Ctrl+Z: The Right to be Forgotten, analyzes social, legal, and technical issues surrounding digital oblivion (forthcoming, NYU Press).

Dr. Carolyn Nguyen, Technology, Policy, and Strategy expert at Microsoft

Carolyn Nguyen_2011M-H. Carolyn Nguyen is a Director in Microsoft’s Telecommunications and Internet Governance Group, focused on policy issues related to Internet governance through engagements with relevant stakeholders globally. Her past activities have included policy initiatives on privacy, security, open/big data, the internet of things, intelligent systems, and their effects on existing social, economic, and policy frameworks. She has worked at the intersection of these disciplines, developing an evidence base to encourage more holistic approaches to policy through collaboration with multidisciplinary researchers and other experts, including the Digital Enlightenment Forum, the World Economic Forum, and Microsoft Research.

Dr. Scott Wallstein, Senior Fellow and VP for Research, Technology Policy Institute and Senior Policy Scholar, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy

5405812780_095e658787_mScott Wallsten is vice president for research and senior fellow at the Technology Policy Institute. He is an economist with expertise in industrial organization and public policy. His research focuses on telecommunications, regulation, competition, and technology policy. His research has been published in numerous academic journals and his commentaries have appeared in newspapers and news magazines around the world. He holds a PhD in economics from Stanford University. He is also a senior fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. He was the economics director for the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and has been a lecturer in Stanford University’s public policy program, director of communications policy studies and senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a senior fellow at the AEI – Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, an economist at The World Bank, a scholar at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and a staff economist at the U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Marvin Ammori J.D., Principal, Ammori Group and Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society

Marvin_Ammori_headshot,_2013Marvin Ammori is one of the top lawyers and political strategists in the US. Time Magazine calls him “a prominent First Amendment lawyer and Internet policy expert” and the San Jose Mercury News calls him “a well-known advocate for Internet freedom.”  In private practice, he has represented Apple, Google, Dropbox, eBay, Automattic, Tumblr, Twitter, the National Association of Realtors, and others.

Marvin Ammori is a prominent First Amendment lawyer and Internet policy expert advocating for Internet freedom. Ammori has been named to POLITICO 50’s “list of thinkers, doers, and dreamers” “transforming politics,” Washingtonian Magazine’s “Tech Titans,” Fast Company Magazine’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” one of the top five tech lawyers by the World Technology Network, and a proud recipient of the Nyan Cat Medal of Internet Awesomeness.  His work has been profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.


  • 11:30 AM: Event check-in, complimentary lunch, and socializing

  • 1:00 PM: Keynote Address by FCC Chair, Tom Wheeler

  • 2:00 PM Panel discussion moderated by Dr. Mark MacCarthy

  • 3:30 PM: Wrap-up and Closing Remarks by gnovis’ Editor-in-Chief, Isaac Riddle

We really hope to see you there! Please email the gnoviCon team with any questions at


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