By: Diane Stirling
(315) 443-8975

Ideas regarding if and how the Internet might be recast—and whether changes of that nature are necessary and desired—are the focus of an international conference  this week that features dozens of renowned subject experts, including a professor from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies.

Attendees at “Rethinking the Internet, The Way Forward” include Professor Milton Mueller. He is one of two lead discussants on the panel, “A New Internet Governance,” participating with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling. Moderator for the discussion is Richard Waters, West Coast editor of Financial Times. 

The panel will address the latest developments in Internet governance policy-making; the nature of changes that may be expected; how policy groups and organizations might work together to create a balanced and fair Internet governance model; limitations of the current recommendations; and what improvements may be needed, as well as the implications of such changes for the issues of privacy, online anonymity and data protection.

A second panel focuses on Internet security, including new threats and challenges, and ways governments are planning for policies that can keep up with industry innovations and technological advances.  Another discussion will address data protection safeguards and copyright protection in the new digital age, and how to maintain proper balance between government intervention and Internet freedom.  Also planned are interactive CEO-level workshops that explore the impact of the Internet on business models, the role of public and private collaborations in enabling innovation, the key policy, governance and security considerations that need to be addressed, and future implications of the Internet evolution for all players in the global communications industry.

The conference is valuable, Mueller said, because, “as fears of a kind of ‘digital Cold War’ increase, events which bring together high-level decision makers and experts from government, industry, academia and civil society are important.”

Mueller is one of the founders of the Internet Governance Project, an alliance of scholars in action around global Internet policy issues (  He also is a co-founder of the Noncommercial Users Constituency, where he has played a key role in organizing and mobilizing public interest groups in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) organization, and as a member of the Advisory Council of Public Interest Registry.  At the School of Information Studies,  Mueller teaches courses on information and communication policy and telecommunication management. His research focuses on property rights, institutions and global governance in communication and information industries, and on the legal and regulatory responsibilities of Internet service providers, Internet Protocol addressing policy, the policy implications of Deep Packet Inspection technology and the security governance practices of network operators. (His DPI research is at:

The conference will be attended by thought leaders from governments, academic institutions, organizations and businesses from throughout the world. They include chief executives and top representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, American Civil Liberties Union, and Corporation for National Research Initiatives, European Parliament, Open Rights Group, Italian Supreme Court, Flockwatching, Technology Policy Institute, Corporation for National Research Initiatives, and European Digital Rights.

Educational institutions representatives participating include those from Harvard University, Columbia University Business School, the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania Law School, University of Amsterdam, and the London School of Economics, along with Syracuse.