Milton Mueller Named First XS4ALL Professor

IGP Partner Milton Mueller, a scholar known for his work on global Internet governance and professor at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University, has internationalized his academic post and strengthened ties to the Internet industry by accepting a chair at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The three-year research position was created by the Dutch Internet service provider XS4ALL, and will be located in the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) section.

“The Internet has brought us wonderful new ways of communication and interaction, and it has fundamentally changed the way the world works,” says Niels Huijbregts, head of Public Affairs at XS4ALL. “But our dependence on the Internet also brings up issues of security, privacy, and trust in technology. The subject very much deserves more academic research, and we’re happy that the internationally renowned professor Mueller will be doing the job.”

The Professorship, which begins January 1, 2008, is part time; Mueller will continue to spend 60 percent of his time at the iSchool at Syracuse. At the close of the fall semester, Mueller stepped down as program chair of the M.S. in Telecommunications and Network Management at the iSchool, and is working with Professor Martha Garcia-Murillo, who takes over the position in January, to ensure a smooth transition.

“I am not leaving Syracuse, I am adding Delft,” said Mueller, who will teach two courses every fall at the iSchool and will continue his work there throughout spring and summer through frequent trips. “The appointment complements and expands the work we have been doing on Internet governance by deepening our research and policy connections to Europe and providing graduate students on both continents better opportunities to understand global Internet developments.”

“Milton’s prestigious appointment is a wonderful opportunity both for Milton and for our school, as we hope to focus on greater internationalization of our instructional and research endeavors,” says Elizabeth D. Liddy, interim dean of the iSchool at Syracuse University. “Given the parallel prestige of the Delft University of Technology and the high rankings of the iSchool at Syracuse, I know that the students at both institutions will benefit from the synergies created by Milton’s dual roles.”

XS4ALL has for some time considered creating a chair at one of the Dutch universities to encourage research into the security and privacy of Internet users. The position will be especially focused on those issues as they pertain to the mobile Internet. XS4ALL, one of the first commercial Internet service providers in Europe, is renowned for its principled stance towards the privacy and free expression rights of its users. The company sees this chair as a logical extension of the social responsibility it has taken throughout its history.

“I am proud to be associated with an Internet company with integrity when it comes to the freedom and privacy of its users,” said Mueller, who will remain a professor at the iSchool and director of Syracuse University’s Convergence Center. “There is a wealth of knowledge about the Internet and its operational issues embedded in its workers, and I look forward to tapping into it.”

“The appointment of Milton Mueller will enable us to further strengthen our research and education in the area of mobile Internet security and privacy, and on Internet governance,” said Harry Bouwman, director of ICT section of the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University. “All kinds of incidents around identity theft, spam, phishing, organized denial of service attacks, illegal content, and the like, make clear that Internet security requires the attention of scholars. We are delighted that XS4ALL offers us the opportunity to take Milton on board as one of the leading professors in this field.”

Mueller is author of Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace (MIT Press, 2002) and Universal Service: Competition, Interconnection and Monopoly in the Making of the American Telephone System (MIT Press, 1997). He is on the international editorial boards of the journals Telecommunications Policy, The Information Society, and Info: the journal of policy, regulation and strategy for telecommunication, information and media. He serves as a partner of the Internet Governance Project, an interdisciplinary consortium of scholars dedicated to Internet policy and governance research. Mueller earned a B.A. in animation and filmmaking in Columbia College, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in communication from Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania.

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