David Clark: The Internet Today and Tomorrow: Social Implications of Evolving Technology

A Lecture by David Clark, Senior Research Scientist MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

Tuesday, February 3, 2009, 4 p.m.  Room 121

The Internet is now sufficiently embedded in society that it is regularly triggering social, economic and regulatory issues. The hot topics of today are network neutrality, network management, and the question of imposing regulatory limits on Internet service providers. However, those are just today’s hot topics. What will happen tomorrow? Can we speculate and perhaps get a bit ahead of the curve? David Clark Lecture In this talk, Professor Clark will start with a perspective on today’s issue of network neutrality and the role of the ISP, and will then look further into the future to look at some emerging issues, such as the role of the social network as a platform, the problems of building a more secure and available Internet, the emerging requirement for identity mechanisms, and the industrial implications of network virtualization and overlays. This talk will describe some new ideas from the technical community that might shift the landscape of regulation and industrial structure.

Audio recording of lecture [MP3]



Power Point Presentation


Download (PPT, Unknown)


David Clark’s MIT web page

Written statement at FCC public hearing on network management, Cambridge, Mass., February 25, 2008

“Complexity of Internet Interconnections: Technology, Incentives and Implications for Policy” (with P. Faratin, P. Gilmore, S. Bauer, A. Berger and W. Lehr), Paper at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, 2007

“Addressing Reality: An Architectural Response to Real-World Demands on the Evolving Internet” (with Karin Sollins, John Wroclawski and Ted Faber), Paper at ACM SIGCOMM 2003 Workshops.  

“Tussle in Cyberspace: Defining Tomorrow’s Internet” (with Karen R. Sollins, John Wroclawski and Robert Braden), Paper at SIGCOMM 2002.


David Clark is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he has worked since receiving his Ph.D. there in 1973. Since the mid 70s, Dr. Clark has been leading the development of the Internet; from 1981-1989 he acted as Chief Protocol Architect in this development, and chaired the Internet Activities Board. His current research looks at re-definition of the architectural underpinnings of the Internet, and the relation of technology and architecture to economic, societal and policy considerations. He is helping the U.S. National Science foundation organize their Future Internet Design program. Dr. Clark is past chairman of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Academies, and has contributed to a number of studies on the societal and policy impact of computer communications. He is co-director of the MIT Communications Futures Program, a project for industry collaboration and coordination along the communications value chain.


Lecture Details: Where: George Mason University School of Law, Room 121, 3301 Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22201 (Orange Line: Virginia Square-GMU Metro). When: Tuesday, February 3, 2008, 4 – 5:30 p.m., reception to follow Admission is free, but seating is limited. Because of construction, parking is tight. See http://www.law.gmu.edu/geninfo/parking. See IEP Web page: http://iep.gmu.edu. To reserve your spot, please email Drew Clark: iep.gmu@gmail.com.


About the Information Economy Project: The Information Economy Project at George Mason University sits at the intersection of academic research and public policy, producing peer-reviewed scholarly research, as well as hosting conferences and lectures with prominent thinkers in the Information Economy. The project brings the discipline of law and economics to telecommunications policy. More information about the project is available at http://iep.gmu.edu. About the ‘Big Ideas About Information’ Lecture Series: World-class thinkers about markets, public policy and technology have lectured at the Information Economy Project at George Mason University. Among them: Vernon Smith, Nobel Laureate in Economics, on the lessons from FCC license auctions; Martin Cooper, CEO of Arraycomm and “father of the cellphone”; Brian Lamb, founder and CEO of C-SPAN, about his revolutionary cable network; former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Dennis Patrick, who abolished the “Fairness Doctrine”; University of Minnesota Professor Andrew Odlyzko, on the 1840s railroad mania and the Internet bubble of the 1990s; and William Webb on the theory and politics of spectrum reform, as told from the perspective of a key United Kingdom regulator.

Series Navigation<< William Webb: Spectrum Reform: A U.K. Regulator’s PerspectiveGlen Robinson: Regulating Communications: Stories from the First Hundred Years >>

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This entry is part 7 of 20 in the series Tullock Lecture Big Ideas About Information Series