INT students attend Internet ethics and law conference at CU
02/24/2009

Seven information networking students from Fort Hays State University accepted invitations to one of America's premier conferences on Internet law and ethics recently at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  

The Silicon Flatirons conference on Internet law and ethics was Feb. 8 and 9 in Boulder.  Silicon Flatirons is a forum for entrepreneurs, lawyers, industry professionals and leaders, policy makers, and students to discuss changing technologies as well as the relevant legal issues associated with them.

In the ever-evolving environment of the Internet, new frontiers are constantly being explored. New business models, technologies, services and content are regularly being invented and retired. With the changing landscape, it can be difficult to keep current law and policy up to speed with the current state of affairs. The Silicon Flatirons conference is intended to address this need.

The conference uses a presenter-discussion model where papers are presented and then discussed by the panel, with questions from the attendees following.

"It was great to get exposure to the executive side of the industry in such an open environment," said Rick Yust, Hutchison senior. Among the participants were William Kovacic, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Senior Judge Stephen Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Kathryn C. Brown, former chief of staff for the Federal Communications Commission, and executive level staff from Verizon, Google, AT&T, Qwest and T-Mobile.

"It gives students a chance to see a relationship between government and policy and the technology we are learning about in class," said John Tholstrup, instructor of INT. Topics included the Internet's challenge to policymakers, the evolution of Internet architecture, the evolution of regulatory institutions for an Internet age and the future of Internet content and services.

Several INT undergraduates have gone on to CU for graduate school, and have become among the best in their program. Because of this, CU invites FHSU students to attend the conference, which usually costs $650, free of charge.

"It is one of the top technology law and policy conferences in America," said Dr. Mark Bannister, chair of the INT Department, "FHSU students are encouraged along with CU graduate students to ask questions of FCC commissioners, federal judges, law and technology professors, and industry leaders after every presentation."

Other students who attended the conference are listed by hometown.

ASSARIA: Jason Zeller, senior.
EMPORIA: Ben Brassart, junior.
HAYS: Austin Gabel, senior.
LURAY: Joshua Seirer, junior.
NORTON: Andrew Duscher, senior.
WICHITA: Nathan Long, senior


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