Opening the black box – How technology and policy shape the internet? – Edu 01 2019

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18 June 2019 | 16:00-18:00 | KILIMANJARO 1 & 2
Consolidated programme 2019 overview

Proposals assigned to this session: ID 166 – list of all proposals as pdf

Session teaser

You visit a website, you send an email; what is a single action for you, behind the scenes triggers a cascade of little events. In this session we’ll lift the curtain and show how the Internet functions behind the scenes: where does your data travel, how do technology choices change it and what is the impact of public policy on this big machine.

Session description

In this session, we dive into technical operation of internet, presented by three technical actors within internet infrastructure: RIPE NCC, CENTR, ICANN. We look into such topics as Domain Name System (DNS) resolution, routing, IP addresses and cloud and how these technical operations are relevant for the on-going digital policy initiatives both in Europe, as well on global level.

From visiting a website to sending an email, this session will take a step-by-step approach in explaining what happens behind the scenes: How does your computer know where to find that website and how does your data end up at the correct destination? But even more importantly, how many traces do you leave and who can see your footprints along the digital highway.

Establishing a common understanding on the basic mechanisms of DNS and routing, the session will also cover some scenarios like changing your DNS or deploying technologies such as DNS-over-HTTPS. We will explain how deploying these changes will alter the technical space and the way your data travels across the Internet.

Using the concrete examples we will discuss the interactions between policy and technology: ow changes on one side influences the other and limitations that may exist in either the technological capabilities or the political landscape.

After attending this session, you should:

  • Understand how DNS is finding the answers to your questions
  • Understand how packets on the Internet find their way to a destination
  • Understand how the cloud directs you to the nearest copy of the data
  • Understand how changing a DNS server influences who can see your data
  • Understand how changes in technology have an impact on policy and vice versa


Interactive training and open discussion

Further reading



Focal Point

  • Chris Buckridge, RIPE NCC

Organising Team (Org Team) List them here as they sign up.

  • Chivintar Amenty, YouthDIG 2019
  • Andrea Beccalli, ICANN
  • Peter Koch, DENIC
  • Adam Peake, ICANN
  • Polina Malaja, CENTR
  • Peter Van Roste, CENTR

Key Participants

Key Participants are experts willing to provide their knowledge during a session – not necessarily on stage. Key Participants should contribute to the session planning process and keep statements short and punchy during the session. They will be selected and assigned by the Org Team, ensuring a stakeholder balanced dialogue also considering gender and geographical balance. Please provide short CV’s of the Key Participants involved in your session at the Wiki or link to another source.

Moderator Polina Malaja, CENTR