Current Projects

These are a few of the ongoing projects occupying my time.  If you’d like to discuss or participate in any of them (always looking for interviewees!), please contact me.

The Phenomenology of Disruptive Politics and NCT Infrastructure
My dissertation looks at the politics of disruption in networked communication technology. It is supported by a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. It looks at the political philosophy of disruptive actions within NCT infrastructure, viewed from a variety of perspectives and included a range of disruptive actions.

This project has been in the works for some time. It began as an broadening of my masters thesis on the use of distributed denial of service as a tactic of activism. That thesis, completed under the supervision of Jim Paradis and Ethan Zuckerman at MIT, was published as The Coming Swarm in October 2014 by Bloomsbury.

I’ve presented my work on activist DDoS actions at PCA/ACA, HOPE 929c3, Yale Law School, Case Western University, and at the Berkman Center at Harvard University. A peer reviewed article was published in the July 2013 issue of the American Behavioral Scientist.

You can read my comprehensive exam text on the historical politics of disruptive action here.

Depictions of Hackers in the Media
A wide-ranging analysis of how hackers are depicted in popular culture, and how that depiction affects computer crime legislation and jurisprudence.  This research was previously presented at SXSW InteractiveNewsFoo, and IAMCR, and published in The Atlantic. A chapter on the New York Times‘ depictions of Kevin Mitnick is forthcoming in Making Our World: The Hacker and Maker Movements in Context from Peter Lang.

Civic Fiction and Misrepresentation
I define “civic fiction” as the construction of complex counterfactuals that enable a person or an event to take a role in a public dialogue that they feel they wouldn’t be able to otherwise. This project examines this phenomenon, which goes beyond the familiar “lying in politics,” as a manifestation of a certain type of “outsider” political action with implications for cosmopolitanism, sympathy, the role of false witnessing in politics, and the potential for unwilling audience collusion with the fictive act. An early paper on this theory was presented at Theorizing the Web 2014.