Internet Policy Research Initiative

Faculty and students at the Internet Policy Research Initiative (IPRI) see a pressing need to bridge the gap between the technical and policy communities, and do so via an interdisciplinary research approach that pulls together expertise from departments across MIT. IPRI has made significant progress in three core areas: leading the development of the field of cyber/Internet policy through influential academic research (research), creating an educational pathway for a new pipeline of students trained in cyber policy (education), and actively engaging with US and international policy makers on a range of cyber issues (engagement). IPRI is led by faculty researchers from engineering, social science, and management departments at MIT, and is located at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL).

Research

IPRI’s core research can be broken down into six evolving categories: cybersecurity, privacy, networks, machine explanation and accountability, critical infrastructure security, and the Internet experience. IPRI has pioneered an approach to addressing the societal challenges of new technology. The groups engages with policy makers and other stakeholders in order to understand the impact of new technology on societies’ core values, and uses the fruits of these engagements both to inform further engineering research and also to develop technically informed policy options. All through this process, IPRI students are learning how to bring policy awareness to their research.

Education

IPRI's expanded curriculum and collaborations among MIT, leading law schools, and international partners are creating the career paths for students who will lead the next generation technologically of informed policy making.

One way MIT graduates create change for the good in the world is by pairing their strong technical education with social awareness and sensitivity for improving the lives of others. IPRI offers residential policy courses such as STS.085[J] Foundations of Information Policy to engineering students to help them approach engineering challenges with deeper context and an expanded policy toolkit for social impact. IPRI faculty also teach 6.S978 Privacy Legislation: Law and Technology as a joint course with Georgetown Law School, pairing engineering and law students in teams to develop privacy legislation around current issues. Final projects from that course have been picked up by law journals and requested by state legislatures.

Engagement

Through open and closed-door conferences/meetings, speeches, and visits by government officials and technical experts to MIT, IPRI engages with policy makers, industrial partners, and civil society organizations both to inform its own research, and to share insights.

For additional information visit the website or IPRI's offices at 32-G526.