Summary to come.

The phenomenal worldwide popularity and growth of the Internet and Web is under threat from many directions, globally and locally: spam, viruses, denial-of-service-attacks, pornography, paedophile soliciting, fraud and government monitoring and censorship. These threats raise many questions of vital social and economic significance, such as:

  • Will the Internet’s value be undermined – and its survival endangered?

  • What can be done technically, such as in the area of security?

  • What can users, households, Internet service providers and industry do?

  • Are policy responses required, such as Internet governance and regulation?

  • Will the next Internet protocol (IPV6) and other technical advances help?

  • Will the Net become clogged up until there is an e-traffic gridlock?

The aim of this event is to have an interactive dialogue between distinguished panels of speakers and other participants in order to identify problems and solutions raised by the kinds of questions outlined above.





Registration / Coffee


Welcome and Aims of the Symposium: William Dutton


Introduction: Threats to the Internet

Session Chair and Moderator: Leonard Waverman

Professor David Farber, Carnegie Mellon University, referred to by Wired Magazine as the ‘Paul Revere of the Internet’ will introduce a range of issues tied to the survival of the Internet and Web. He will be introduced by Ted Nelson, OII Fellow and early visionary of the future of computing and information.


Dimensions of the Problems

Chair: Michael Earl

Panellists: Mark Handley, Professor Stuart Anderson and Richard Starnes




Attacking the Problems: From the Architecture of the Internet to the Strategies of Households

Chair: Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin

Panellists: John Bridgeman, Dr Norman Lewis, Professor Angela Sasse and Professor Sonia Livingstone


Coffee Break


Emerging Attachments to the Net: Thinking about Email

Chair: William Dutton

Professor Dutton will highlight OII research on spam and related threats to email and the Internet more generally, as an introduction to our last speaker, and moderate the final minutes of summary points and conclusions to the day. Professor Susan Douglas, a cultural historian of radio, will speak on email, and its meaning for users.



This meeting (organized in collaboration with the ESRC e-Society Programme, London Business School and Templeton College, University of Oxford) contributes to the OII’s ESRC Seminar Series: Critical perspectives on the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS): Civil society participation issues.