Cloud Policy: Analog Histories and Digital Futures

Illustration inspired by Saturday Night Fever poster, text on left (cut off) reads, Security Fever -- Catch it

Cloud Policy: Analog Histories and Digital Futures 

Wednesday, March 6 at 6:00 pm
Michelson Theater, 721 Broadway, 6th Floor

The regulation of data in “the cloud” is a complex landscape of laws, technologies, cultural practices, and policies that are currently rife with unresolvable conflicts. Distributing and protecting digital data in a policy arena that is simultaneously local, national, and global poses challenges that often defy legal paradigms, national boundaries, and traditional geographies of control. Looking at some of the cultural and political histories connecting the governance of digital data, Jennifer Holt will address how a regulatory crisis has evolved, and how the humanities might play a role in its resolution. These shared histories include the regulation of obscene phone calls, wiretapping organized crime figures, the Patriot Act, social media, and even garbage pickup. Ultimately, these intertwined (pre)histories of policies related to privacy, data security, and digital freedoms become most instructive when they are brought to bear on the current regulatory landscape, revealing the growing stakes for the digital futures of culture, information, and citizenship. 

Free and open to the public.

  • Jennifer Holt, woman wearing a pink and purple scarf, smiling


    Jennifer Holt is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Fellow with the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Empires of Entertainment and co-editor of Distribution Revolution; Connected Viewing: Selling, Streaming & Sharing Media in the Digital Age; and Media Industries: History, Theory, Method. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Cinema Journal, Journal of Information Policy, and Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures. She is also a co-founder of the Media Industries journal. Her current book project, Cloud Policy: Regulating Digital Freedom is a legal and cultural history of infrastructure policy related to digital media distribution, storage, and access.