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Saturday, September 26 • 3:05pm - 3:37pm
0011011 [ESC]ape

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The Internet of Things is here, but it is not under control.

We don't own or control our smartphones, tablets, or consoles. Data-hungry companies do. In two years, you won't own your smart television. In five years, you won't truly control your self-driving car. In ten, you won’t control your networked house. To escape, we must re-establish digital ownership at the most basic level. What you own, you must control. We have to hit [escape].

The virtues of ownership — independence, simplicity, privacy, modularity, wealth-building, and self-determination — will be necessary to escape the control companies assert over our property through intellectual property licenses. [ESC]ape will explore the social and technological developments that have driven the erosion of property rights in the digital context, and how the digital context increasingly defines physical reality. It will survey legal responses to technological progress and argue that these developments have led to a situation in which citizens do not meaningfully own or control their own property. It will explore the ramifications of the current state of property rights in digital objects and smart property, specifically with regard to rights of privacy, autonomy, and governance. The proposed solution will be to assert digital ownership. The piece will argue that developments in crypto-technology can, for the first time, make true digital ownership possible, and that this solution can allow individuals to enjoy the full positive promise of the Internet of Things while minimizing its negative consequences.


David Sobel

Electronic Frontier Foundation

avatar for Joshua Fairfield

Joshua Fairfield

Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law
Josh Fairfield is a nationally recognized scholar on law, governance, economics, and intelligence issues related to technology. He has written on the law and regulation of e-commerce and online contracts and on the application of standard economic models to virtual environments. He has also written on the ethical and legal issues involved in virtual privacy and cyber-security.

Saturday September 26, 2015 3:05pm - 3:37pm
GMUSL - Room 120

Attendees (11)