Wednesday, 8 May 2024

What is the Cloud Doing to the Internet?

Presentation by Corinne Cath - Hybrid Event


The future of the Internet is (in) the cloud. Companies like Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS), rather than platforms like X or Meta, will become the tech industry's most powerful players. To the extent this is not already the case, the choices of these cloud companies will influence what our wired world looks like, including our much-beloved (and much-reviled) Internet.  In other words, the growing importance of cloud computing for networking and connectivity will impact the future of the public Internet. In this talk, I will present some preliminary findings from my ongoing ethnographic research on the impact of the cloud industry on the Internet at the University of Delft and pair that with insights from my Ph.D. research on Internet governance. I will draw out how critical Internet governance services are increasingly moving onto the cloud and turning towards the delivery of industry, rather than consumer, services. I will use these various insights and build on existing literature in the field (Volker 2021, Todd 2020, etc) to speculate on the future of the Internet as we know it. I will also open up the discussion on how key Internet regulations might need to be updated in light of these developments.

Dr. Corinne Cath is an anthropologist of Internet infrastructure and cloud computing. She currently works as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Delft with Dr. Seda Gürses and her Programmable Infrastructures Group. Her postdoc is part of the Dutch NWO Algosoc Consortium. Corinne is also a research affiliate at the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy at the University of Cambridge and a fellow at the critical infrastructure lab in Amsterdam.


The event is part of the Seminar Series “Platform Politics and Policy”.

Researchers from outside the WZB who would like to attend may email the organizer, robert.gorwa [at], to be put onto the seminar series mailing list.