Jesse Sowell

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Jesse Sowell is a Postdoctoral Cybersecurity Fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation. His research focuses on the non-state institutions that ensure internet security and stability. Analytically, Sowell's work combines internet operations, industrial political economy, and operations strategy to understand the supply and demand of institutional and organizational capabilities and capacities that make these institutions effective. Ongoing work explores how these transnational institutions engage with conventional state actors. He earned a Ph.D. from MIT’s Engineering Systems Division in 2015.

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Cyber & Technology

The Role of Norms in Internet Security: Reputation and its Limits

Who maintains the security and stability of the internet—and how do they do it? It’s a simple question, but a difficult one to answer. Internet security, writ large, comprises a diverse set of social and technical tools and an equally diverse set of industry norms around mitigating and remediating abusive behavior. Those tools are developed and used by what I term operational security communities—groups of individuals, largely unaffiliated with governments, that do the day-to-day work of maintaining the security and stability of the internet.