Where Is the Web Closed?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 2:30 pm3:00 pm

Sadia Afroz, International Computer Science Institute (ICSI)

Abstract: 

One of the Internet's greatest strengths is the degree to which it facilitates access to any of its resources from users anywhere in the world. The Internet has already become a crucial part of our life. People around the world use the internet to communicate, connect, and do business. Yet various commercial, technical, and national interests constrain universal access to information on the internet.

I will discuss three reasons for the closed web that are not caused by government censorship: blocking visitors from the EU to avoid GDPR compliance, blocking based upon the visitor's country, and blocking due to security concerns. These decisions can have an adverse effect on the people of the blocked regions, especially for the developing regions. With many key services, such as education, commerce, and news, offered by a small number of web-based Western companies who might not view the developing world as worth the risk, these indiscriminate blanket blocking could slow the growth of blocked developing regions.

As we are building the future web, we need to discuss the implication of such blocking practices and build technologies that ensure an open web for users around the world.

Sadia Afroz, International Computer Science Institute (ICSI)

Sadia Afroz is a research scientist at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI). Her work focuses on anti-censorship, anonymity and adversarial learning. Her work on adversarial authorship attribution received the 2013 Privacy Enhancing Technology (PET) award, the best student paper award at the 2012 Privacy Enhancing Technology Symposium (PETS) and the 2014 ACM SIGSAC dissertation award (runner-up).

BibTeX
@conference {226357,
author = {Sadia Afroz},
title = {Where Is the Web Closed?},
year = {2019},
address = {Burlingame, CA},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jan,
}

Presentation Video