The Internet's Midlife Crisis

Tags: Artificial Intelligence / Content/IP / Events / Initiatives / Privacy / Spectrum Policy / Tech Policy / Technology Policy / Telecom & Platforms

2023 Flagship Conference

In the more than two decades since Silicon Flatirons launched its first inquiry into the nascent “Digital Broadband Migration,” the Internet and its constituent players have evolved from a disruptive, competitive technology to the cornerstone of nearly every aspect of the modern world. Work, education, healthcare, transportation, financial systems, agriculture, democracy, social and cultural interactions – nearly every facet of modern life is inextricably entangled with a wide range of Internet service providers and platforms that help shape and define the day-to-day experiences of billions of people.

But the optimism and forward-looking nature of discussions about the Internet’s potential, as highlighted in the Digital Broadband Migration days, has given way to dissatisfaction. A mounting array of problems rooted in the Internet’s sprawling ecosystem present difficult challenges that must be untangled. Among other things, fears of mis- and disinformation, hate speech, and abuse, algorithms that often amplify rather than eradicate discrimination and inequality, the increasing toxicity of political discourse, the decline of journalism and its traditional business model, the erosion of competition, economic contraction, and questions about the federal government’s traditional hands-off approach to much of the Internet ecosystem have emerged as the commercial Internet ages past the quarter-century mark of its inception.

At the 2023 session of our annual conference, a range of speakers from academia, government, civil society, and industry will train their attention on the good, the bad and the ugly—where we have come from and where we are headed as we grapple with the challenges created by the Internet’s midlife crisis.

All times Mountain Standard (MST).


02/05/23 8:30am - 9:00am
Day One Check In and Breakfast

@ Wolf Law Building: Foyer and Boettcher Hall

Attendees are welcome to check-in and enjoy a continental breakfast buffet before the day’s programming gets underway.
02/05/23 9:00am - 9:15am
Welcoming Remarks

@ Wolf Law Building, Wittemyer Courtroom

02/05/23 9:15am - 10:00am
02/05/23 10:00am - 11:00am
The Future of Agencies
  • Phil Weiser — Moderator
    Attorney General, State of Colorado
  • Babette Boliek — Panelist
    Professor of Law, Pepperdine University, Caruso School of Law
  • Julie Brill — Panelist
    Chief Privacy Officer and Corporate Vice President Global Privacy and Regulatory Affairs, Microsoft, Former Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Tejas Narechania — Panelist
    Robert and Nanci Corson Assistant Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
  • Maureen Ohlhausen — Panelist
    Partner, Baker Botts, Former Acting Chair and Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
  • Tom Wheeler — Panelist
    Former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
02/05/23 11:00am - 11:25am

02/05/23 11:25am - 11:30am
Recognizing Student Leaders

  • Colorado Technology Law Journal (CTLJ)
  • Silicon Flatirons Student Group (SFSG)
02/05/23 11:30am - 12:15pm
The Tech Journalist Perspective on Tech Policy
  • Casey Fiesler — Moderator
    Associate Professor, Information Science, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Steve Heuser — Panelist
    Global Technology Editor, POLITICO
  • Cristiano Lima — Panelist
    Reporter, The Washington Post
  • Adi Robertson — Panelist
    Senior Reporter, The Verge
02/05/23 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Lunch Break

A catered lunch will be provided onsite.
02/05/23 1:15pm - 2:15pm
Implementation of Platform Regulation in Europe
  • David Sullivan — Moderator
    Executive Director, Digital Trust & Safety Partnership
  • Gerard de Graaf — Panelist
    Senior Envoy for Digital to the U.S. and Head of the new EU Office in San Francisco, EU Delegation to the US
  • Emma Llanso — Panelist
    Director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Julie Owono Assevini — Panelist
    Board Member, Meta Oversight Board
  • Chris Riley — Panelist
    Distinguished Research Fellow, Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania
02/05/23 2:15pm - 2:40pm

02/05/23 2:40pm - 2:45pm
Silicon Flatirons Annual Writing Competition Award

Sponsored by WilmerHale

02/05/23 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Making Sense of U.S. Platform Policy in Congress and the Supreme Court
  • Blake E. Reid — Moderator
    Clinical Professor, University of Colorado Law School
  • Jennifer Huddleston — Panelist
    Research Fellow, Cato Institute
  • Chris Lewis — Panelist
    President & CEO, Public Knowledge
  • Corynne McSherry — Panelist
    Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Derigan Silver — Panelist
    Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies, University of Denver
02/05/23 3:45pm - 4:00pm

02/05/23 4:00pm - 4:30pm
Fireside Chat
  • Alan Davidson
    Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and National Telecommunications and Information Administrator, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Anna Gomez
    Senior Advisor for International Information and Communications Policy, U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy
02/05/23 4:30pm - 5:30pm
DEBATE: Promote Tech Giants or Startups?

Debate Topic: “We should prefer a system that promotes either startups (the founding of innovative, if often unruly, new tech companies) or tech giants (the sustenance and oversight of tech companies that operate at scale).”
  • JP de VriesDirector Emeritus and Distinguished Advisor, Silicon Flatirons
Tech Giants
  • Paul OhmProfessor of Law; Chief Data Officer, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Meg Leta JonesAssociate Professor, Georgetown University
  • Brad BernthalAssociate Professor, University of Colorado Law School
  • Orly LobelWarren Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Employment and Labor Policy (CELP) , University of San Diego
02/05/23 5:45pm - 7:45pm
Community Celebration

@ Kittredge Central Hall, Multipurpose Room

Conference attendees and speakers are encouraged to gather in Kittredge Central Hall on the CU Boulder campus, just a two-minute walk from Wolf Law Building, to celebrate with the Silicon Flatirons community. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments provided. Walking Directions.

02/06/23 8:00am - 8:30am
Day Two Check In and Breakfast

@ Wolf Law Building: Foyer and Boettcher Hall

Attendees are welcome to check-in and enjoy a continental breakfast buffet before the day’s programming gets underway.
02/06/23 8:30am - 9:15am

@ Wolf Law Building, Wittemyer Courtroom

  • Tim Wu
    Julius Silver Professor of Law, Science and Technology, Columbia Law School
02/06/23 9:15am - 10:30am
The Role of Competition Policy in Mediating the Crisis
  • Kristelia García — Moderator
    Associate Professor, University of Colorado Law School
  • Elettra Bietti — Panelist
    Postdoctoral Fellow, NYU
  • Renata Hesse — Panelist
    Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • Hal Singer — Panelist
    Professor of Economics and Director of the Utah Project, University of Utah
  • Christopher Yoo — Panelist
    John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania
02/06/23 10:30am - 10:50am

02/06/23 10:50am - 12:05pm
The Aches and Pains of Broadband Deployment and Adoption
  • Gabrielle Daley — Moderator
    Director of the Schaden Experiential Learning Program, University of Colorado Law School
  • Kathryn de Wit — Panelist
    Project Director, Broadband Access Initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Justin Faulb — Panelist
    Chief of Staff and Wireline Advisor to Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, Federal Communications Commission
  • Francella Ochillo — Panelist
    Executive Director, Next Century Cities
  • Nirali Patel — Panelist
    Senior Vice President, Policy & Advocacy , USTelecom – The Broadband Association
  • Brandy Reitter — Panelist
    Executive Director, Colorado Broadband Office, Governor's Office of Information Technology
02/06/23 12:05pm - 12:10pm
Closing Remarks
  • Blake E. Reid
    Clinical Professor, University of Colorado Law School
02/06/23 12:20pm - 1:00pm
Lunch and Learn: Digital Crossroads Revisited

@ Wolf Law Building, Room 204

Boxed lunches provided for attendees. Join presenters as they revisit Digital Crossroads: Telecommunications Law and Policy in the Internet Age (ISBN 0262519607), authored by Jonathan E. Nuechterlein and Philip J. Weiser.

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