Protecting the Internet as a Public Commons


For computer scientists and information technologists, technical protocols are fundamental to the secure operation of the Internet; yet the social issues of identity, access, and trust also underlie the security of the Internet.

The Academy’s project on Protecting the Internet as a Public Commons was designed to identify social, legal, economic, and technical factors that influence how the Internet is used and how it will evolve in the years ahead.

The Daedalus issue with the same name of the project "Protecting the Internet as a Public Commons" and Congressional hearings in 2011 shared the research and recommendations of the project and shaped legislation and perceptions. 



Project Chair
Project Participants

Marjory Blumenthal

Georgetown University

Henry E. Brady

University of California, Berkeley
Dean, Goldman School of Public Policy & Professor of Political Science and Public Policy
Academy Member

L. Jean Camp

Indiana University

Coye Cheshire

University of California, Berkeley

R. Kelly Garrett

The Ohio State University

Seymour E. Goodman

Georgia Institute of Technology

Richard Hale

U.S. Department of Defense

John B. Horrigan


Deirdre K. Mulligan

University of California, Berkeley

Helen Nissenbaum

New York University

Joseph Samuel Nye

Harvard Kennedy School
Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
Academy Member

Paul Resnick

University of Michigan

Kay Lehman Schlozman

Boston College
J. Joseph Moakley Professor Department of Political Science
Academy Member

Fred B. Schneider

Cornell University
Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Computer Science
Academy Member

Abraham D. Sofaer

Stanford University

Lee Sproull

New York University

John David Steinbruner

Brookings Institution
Director, Center for International and Security Studies
Academy Member

Sidney Verba

Harvard University
Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor (Emeritus) and Research Professor of Government
Academy Member
News & Updates

News & Updates

Project Outcomes

Project Outcomes

In the Fall 2011 issue of Dædalus, project members shared their perspectives and recommendations on a range of topics: social and political participation online, the consequences of being disconnected in a digital society, and the roles for government, industry, and private citizens in ensuring the security and accessibility of the future Internet. The project’s work has been featured in media outlets including Politico, National Journal, and Computer World.

In coordination with U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA), cochair of the bipartisan Congressional Internet Caucus, the Academy organized a briefing at the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 2011, to discuss new models for Internet privacy and security. Project leaders also discussed their recommendations with senior privacy and security officials from the National Security Staff, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The Obama administration subsequently drew on project recommendations in designing the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, released in February 2012.