Internet Evolution, a blog sponsored by IBM about the impact of the Internet and changing technology on society, featured a post about the 79th Annual Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) meeting in Beijing, China, on November 7, 2010, mentioning ideas of Syracuse University School of Information Studies professors Milton Mueller and Alex Tan. The focus of the piece was the integration of Chinese influence into Internet governance standards.
“Much of the credit for China becoming one of the leaders in Internet standards goes to Tsinghua University Professors Xing Li and Jianping Wu,” wrote William Foster, faculty associate in the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Arizona State University. “Syracuse University Professor Alex (Zixiang) Tan believes Tsinghua’s success is due to the synergistic leadership of Professor Wu from the computer science department and Professor Li from Tsinghua’s electrical engineering department.”
Foster mentions that this was the first time in the history of IETF that Chinese engineers outnumbered those from the United States and some believe the reason for this is the impact of creating national Internet policy, and is something other countries should emulate.
“Milton Mueller, chair of GigaNet, disagrees, believing that China’s firewall and innovation policy is holding it back,” wrote Foster, adding that China’s firewall policy prevents people from accessing information on controversial topics like the Dalai Lama and Taiwan.
Mueller is a professor at the iSchool, where he 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. Currently, he is doing research 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. Mueller was one of the founders of the Internet Governance Project, an alliance of scholars in action around global Internet policy issues. As co-founder of the Noncommercial Users Constituency, he has played a leading role in organizing and mobilizing public interest groups in ICANN. Mueller is on the Advisory Council of Public Interest Registry (.org).
Tan is an associate professor at the iSchool, who teaches in the Telecommunications and Network Management area. His current research and teaching interests include telecommunications policy and regulation, new technology development and applications, industry restructure, and competition. He earned a Ph. D. in Telecommunications Policy and Management from Rutgers University, a Bachelor’s and master’s degree in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, and a second master’s degree in Communications and Information Technology Policy from SPRU of the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom.