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Internet Everywhere: The Role & Policy Implications of Public Wi-Fi in NYC

Jameson Dempsey

Thursday, April 11, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

Internet Everywhere: The Role & Policy Implications of...

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Internet Everywhere:

The Role & Policy Implications of Public Wi-Fi in NYC


On January 8, 2013, Google announced its plans to develop a public Wi-Fi space—the city’s largest—in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The announcement comes on the heels of the Mayor's efforts to roll out public Wi-Fi in a number of city parks, and alongside federal efforts to free up unlicensed spectrum and promote municipal broadband projects throughout the country. The proliferation and popularity of public Wi-Fi networks implicate a number of important public policy issues, including universal broadband access, federal spectrum policy, data security, privacy, and civil liberties. A distinguished panel of experts will address these and other issues in an interactive discussion at eBay NYC on April 11, 2013.


A reception, sponsored by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, will be held after the event. Location TBA at the conclusion of Q&A.




  • Gale A. Brewer, Member, New York City Council



  • Nilay Patel, Managing Editor, The Verge



  • Deirdre Flynn, Executive Director of Telecommunications Policy and Strategy, NYC DoITT
  • Joe Plotkin, Board Member, NYCwireless
  • Bruce Regal, Senior Counsel, New York City Law Department
  • Mike Roudi, SVP Corporate Development, Time Warner Cable Inc.
  • Michael Santorelli, Director, Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute, New York Law School
  • Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist & Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU
  • Ashkan Soltani, Independent Privacy Researcher
  • Jody Westby, CEO, Global Cyber Risk






Speaker Biographies:


Gale A. Brewer, Member, New York City Council


Council Member Gale A. Brewer has been representing the Upper West Side and the northern part of Clinton in the New York City Council since 2002. Her service in the Council is a continuation of nearly 40 years of public service.


Brewer currently chairs the Committee on Governmental Operations after having chaired the Committee on Technology in Government (now the Committee on Technology) from 2002 through 2009.  As Governmental Operations Chair, Brewer works to review governmental structure and organization with an eye toward increasing both efficiency and accountability, particularly in the delivery of services and the use of technology.  Since taking office, Brewer has worked to make better use of technology to save money, improve City services, and bring residents, businesses and non-profits closer to government and their communities. Brewer is also the only Council Member to publish an education newsletter that highlights all the information and programs for every public school in her District.


Brewer co-chairs the Manhattan Delegation (MD), sits on the Council’s Budget Negotiating Team (BNT) and is a member of the Rules Committee Working Group. Brewer has been instrumental in passing numerous laws, including legislation to open all city databases to the public, requiring landlords to repair underlying conditions that cause repeat housing violations, a ban on smoking in NYC parks and beaches, a law protecting domestic workers; a bill establishing the Broadband Advisory Committee; a bill establishing an electronic death registration system; two bills aimed at eliminating graffiti and unwanted stickers; and legislation requiring City publications to be made available via the Web.


Nilay Patel, Managing Editor, The Verge


Before serving as Managing Editor of The Verge, Nilay spent four years as Managing Editor of Engadget, where he drew upon his background as a lawyer to report and explain complex legal situations in everyday terminology — a niche that led to SAY Media naming Nilay one of 10 "voices that matter" in technology journalism.


Nilay has appeared on CNN, CNN International, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, Sky News, NHK, G4TV, TWiT, and others. He also co-hosts The Vergecast with fellow editors Joshua Topolsky and Paul Miller.


Nilay received an AB in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2003 and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2006.


Deirdre C. Flynn, Executive Director of Telecommunications Policy and Strategy, New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications


Deirdre C. Flynn has served as DoITT’s Executive Director of Telecommunications Policy and Strategy since March, 2009.   In this role, Ms. Flynn is responsible, pursuant to City Charter §1072, for the planning, formulation, coordination and advancement of Information Technology and telecommunications policies for the City and for the development, maintenance and implementation of the long range telecommunications strategy.  


Ms. Flynn is a senior Information technology executive with over twenty years experience in technology infrastructure management in both the public and private sector.  Ms. Flynn has an established career in identifying and delivering leading edge telecommunications and technology solutions and policies for government and global investment banks.   


Ms. Flynn has also served as DoITT’s Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Telecommunications Services, from 2003-2005, with oversight responsibility for the agency’s Voice and Network Services and the Wireless Technologies divisions. Among other projects, she assisted in developing the New York City Wireless Network, or NYCWiN, a Citywide mobile broadband data network supporting public safety and public works.  Ms. Flynn also collaborated on the VOIP 180 - day plan as well as other public safety initiatives, including 911 support. 


Ms. Flynn is responsible for citywide carrier business relationships for all mayoral and eligible entities. She is the lead point person regarding agency telecommunications programs, modifications or amendments to existing contracts and consideration of future procurements for telecommunications, network or other related services.  Ms. Flynn is the Mutual Aid Restoration Consortium (MARC) point person, responding to emergency telecommunications services.


Joe Plotkin, Board Member, NYCWireless


Joe Plotkin is a strategic marketing and technology executive who has been at the forefront of U.S. broadband deployment. Currently he is Director, Sales & Marketing for ASA Networks, a start-up WISP (wireless Internet service provider), bringing broadband connectivity to rural places wirelessly, using recently unlicensed TV White Spaces spectrum.


Plotkin is on the Board of Directors of NYCwireless, a non-profit organization that advocates for, and enables the growth of free, public wireless networks. In 2011, NYCwireless launched Dumbo Wireless, the first NYC neighborhood-wide wireless network. Plotkin was also elected to Board of Directors for the Internet Society’s New York Chapter (ISOC-NY) and is Senior Strategist for TeleTruth.org, an alliance for customer rights in telecommunications. Plotkin holds a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP).


Bruce Regal, Senior Counsel, New York City Law Department


Bruce Regal is a Senior Counsel at the New York City Law Department where has he has worked since 1983.  Bruce has served as the Law Department’s lead attorney on City telecommunications matters since 1989 and has also advised the City on contracts involving the use of City streets for public amenities such as payphones, bus shelters, newsstands and the City’s upcoming bicycle-sharing program. 


Bruce is currently serving a two-year term on the FCC’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee.  He is the author of “Building the Broadband City”, part of a New York Academy of Sciences 2001 report on infrastructure development in the New York metropolitan area   Bruce was educated at Oberlin College in Ohio and at the Columbia University School of Law, and before joining City government was an associate with the law firm of Kelley Drye & Warren.


Mike Roudi, Senior Vice President – Corporate Development, Time Warner Cable Inc.


Mike Roudi is Senior Vice President of Corporate Development for Time Warner Cable.  He is responsible for the overall strategy and general management of TWC’s Wireless and Intelligent Home/Home Monitoring Products.  Mr. Roudi is also responsible for new business development for the company. 


Mr. Roudi serves on the Board of Directors for WeFi, and on the Board of Advisors of Rutberg & Co’s Wireless Influencers Conference.


Time Warner Cable is among the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the U.S., connecting more than 15 million customers to entertainment, information and each other.


Michael Santorelli, Director, Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute, New York Law School


Michael Santorelli is a Director of the Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute (ACLP) at New York Law School. In that capacity, he oversees all aspects of the ACLP’s research and scholarly writing, as well as developing and maintaining the ACLP’s core program. Michael writes widely on broadband, telecommunications, wireless, and Internet law and public policy issues.


Immediately prior to joining the ACLP, Michael was the lead staffer for the New York City Council’s Committee on Technology. Michael received his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Tufts University, and his law degree, with honors, from New York Law School.


Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist & Senior Policy Analyst, American Civil Liberties Union


Christopher Soghoian is a privacy researcher and activist, working at the intersection of technology, law and policy.


He is the Principal Technologist and a Senior Policy Analyst with the Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. He is also a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project and a Fellow at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research at Indiana University. He is based in Washington, D.C.


Soghoian completed his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2012, which focused on the role that third party service providers play in facilitating law enforcement surveillance of their customers. In order to gather data, he has made extensive use of the Freedom of Information Act, sued the Department of Justice pro se, and used several other investigative research methods. His research has appeared in publications including the Berkeley Technology Law Journal and been cited by several federal courts, including the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.


Between 2009 and 2010, he was the first ever in-house technologist at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, where he worked on investigations of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Netflix. Prior to joining the FTC, he co-created the Do Not Track privacy anti-tracking mechanism now adopted by all of the major web browsers.


He is a TEDGlobal 2012 Fellow, was an Open Society Foundations Fellow between 2011 and 2012, and was a Student Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University between 2008-2009.


Ashkan Soltani, Independent Privacy Researcher


Ashkan Soltani is an independent researcher and consultant specializing in consumer privacy and security on the Internet. He has more than 15 years of experience as a technology consultant and has published three major reports on the extent and means of online tracking: “KnowPrivacy: The Current State of Web Privacy, Data Collection, and Information Sharing”, “Flash Cookies and Privacy”, and “Flash Cookies and Privacy II.”


His work highlights the prevalence and practice of tracking online, including the use of specific technologies designed to circumvent consumer privacy choices online. He has served as a staff technologist in the Division of Privacy and Identity Protection at the Federal Trade Commission and also worked as the primary technical consultant on the Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series investigating Internet privacy and online tracking.


Finally, he recently testified as an independent expert in front of the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on “The State of Online Consumer Privacy” and the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy”.


Jody Westby, CEO, Global Cyber Risk


Drawing upon a unique combination of more than twenty years of technical, legal, policy, and business experience, Ms. Westby provides consulting and legal services to public and private sector clients around the world in the areas of privacy, security, cybercrime, breach management, and IT governance. She also serves as Adjunct Professor to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Computer Science and is Adjunct Distinguished Fellow to Carnegie Mellon CyLab.  She is a professional blogger for Forbes.


Ms. Westby is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Colorado and serves as chair of the American Bar Association’s Privacy and Computer Crime Committee.  She co-chaired the World Federation of Scientists’ (WFS) Permanent Monitoring Panel on Information Security and served on the ITU Secretary-General’s High Level Experts Group on Cybersecurity. 


Ms. Westby led the development of the International Toolkit on Cybercrime Legislation and is an editor and co-author of the 2010 WFS-ITU publication, The Quest for Cyber Peace. Ms. Westby is co-author and editor of four books on privacy, security, cybercrime, and enterprise security programs and author of two books on legal issues associated with cybersecurity research.  She speaks globally on these issues.


Previously, she launched In-Q-Tel, was senior managing director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, was senior fellow and director of IT Studies for the Progress and Freedom Foundation, and was director of domestic policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Ms. Westby practiced law at Shearman & Sterling and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.  B.A., summa cum laude, University of Tulsa; J.D., magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center; Order of the Coif.  Ms. Westby is a member of the American Bar Foundation and the Cosmos Club.

Have questions about Internet Everywhere: The Role & Policy Implications of Public Wi-Fi in NYC? Contact Jameson Dempsey

When & Where

eBay NYC
625 6th Ave
3rd floor
New York, NY 10011

Thursday, April 11, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

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Jameson Dempsey

The Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) is a volunteer organization of attorneys, engineers, consultants, economists, government officials and law students involved in the study, development, interpretation and practice of communications and information technology law and policy. From broadband deployment to broadcast content, from emerging wireless technologies to emergency communications, from spectrum allocations to satellite broadcasting, the FCBA has something to offer nearly everyone involved in the communications industry. That’s why the FCBA, more than two thousand members strong, has been the leading organization for communications lawyers and other professionals since 1936.

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