'Knowing what not to know: sharing and hiding information in digital societies' with Dr Joss Wright

Past Event

23 February 2017, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Adobe Stock Dr Hitch dark web
© Adobe Stock/DrHitch

Our societies are increasingly dependent on, and shaped by, our information technologies. We read, watch, communicate, interact, and monitor digitally, both as individuals and in our institutions.

As we document and store every conceivable facet of our lives we expose tensions between the availability of information and the freedoms that we enjoy. We rightly expect a level of personal privacy and freedom of expression while, equally justifiably, expecting transparency from our governments and businesses. In practice, we all too often see the reverse.

In this talk Dr Joss Wright, Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, will examine technologies that seek to assert, resist, or subvert control over information, and assess the balance of the information we share as individuals and as a society. We will look at technologies such as the 'dark web' and Bitcoin, that seek to resist traditional observation and control, and the new forms of control introduced by broad-scale gathering of personal data and the algorithms used to act on it.

By understanding the consequences of hiding and sharing information, and the technologies and policies that we use to do so, we take a necessary step towards consciously guiding the shape of the future societies that we wish to see.

Join in on Twitter with the hashtag #omsfrontiers

About the speaker

Joss Wright is Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, where his research focuses on the measurement and analysis of internet censorship, and on the design of privacy enhancing technologies. Joss is also Co-Director on the Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade.

More broadly, Joss' work focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to the measurement and analysis of technologies that exert, subvert, or resist control over information. He has a particular interest in bridging the gaps between technically-focused analyses of security and privacy technologies, and their broader social and political implications.

In addition to his work on censorship and privacy enhancing technologies, Joss has also provided advice to the European Commission, as well as a number of EU research projects, on the social, legal and ethical impacts of security technologies. He has written on privacy, social media and online activism for the Guardian and Observer newspapers, amongst others, and his work on measuring internet censorship has been featured in New Scientist magazine. He has also advised the UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee on the implications of surveillance legislation.