"Surveillance Technology: Tracking Terrorists and Protecting Public Places"

Transcript of IEEE Spectrum/ New York Academy of Sciences Press Briefing

50 min read

31 October 2001

We convened this press briefing because the technical, economic, political issues surrounding surveillance technologies are very complicated, and they’re coming on faster than lawmakers, and certainly faster than the nontechnical public, can understand how they should be used. One of the places where surveillance technology issues will be discussed is in the press, and we hope this briefing will be informative for the press in attendance. Our speakers–who come to surveillance technology-related issues from different sides of the problem–will address questions of utility–what these technologies are and how they work (or don’t work)–and the issues surrounding appropriate use of these technologies in public places.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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