Navigating Dual Use Harms in Networking Research
Brian Levine – University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nicholas Weaver – UC Berkeley
Jim Kurose – Professor of College of Information and Computer Sciences, the University of Massachusetts Amherst
All technology is dual use. Technology first has a use and benefit to society intended by the scientists and engineers who designed and deployed it. But once in the wild, tech may be leveraged by users for other purposes that cause harm. Thus, as researchers, once our efforts to advance science has had an impact and sees deployment, it can be difficult to “Avoid Harm” as instructed by the ACM Code of Ethics.
In this session, we will discuss a few networking technologies that were designed with the best intentions but now see dual use. These include peer-to-peer file sharing protocols, anonymous communication systems, cryptocurrencies, and personal tracking devices. We will discuss several general questions. Can dual use be avoided? Is it our responsibility as scientists to predict types of dual use? When should a dual use dilemma be stated in papers? What are the ethics involved with researching technologies that have seen dual use in practice?
Warning: this presentation will include candid discussion of child sexual abuse and other crimes.
(8am PST / 11 am EST / 1am JST)
web-streamed | time streamed