This talk will take place on Zoom. Register here.


The Internet is an interconnected network of roughly 70.000 networks, but there are hardly and binding rules that prescribe how it works. Every network can set its own rules. Distribution and fragmentation are foundation concepts for the Internet. In this talk we will explore the governance of this distributed information network and the process of co-production of  the norms that make it work. Finally we will ask the question whether and how the Internet infrastructure can be aligned with human rights.


Niels ten Oever, PhD, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Texas A&M University (USA), associated also with the Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (Brazil). His research focuses on how norms, such as human rights, get inscribed, resisted, and subverted in the Internet infrastructure through its transnational governance. Previously Niels has worked as Head of Digital for ARTICLE19 and programme coordinator for Free Press Unlimited. He holds a cum laude MA in Philosophy from the University of Amsterdam. He sometimes maintains his website at He tweets at @nielstenoever.

Recommended Readings:

I will be combining the theoretical argument I developed in the attached Metagovernance of Internet governance chapter with the data I gathered for this paper: