Law, Policy, and Governance

The blockchain and other decentralized technologies are now being used in banking, government, even journalism. But some of the very features that make them attractive—cutting out the middlemen and providing complete privacy—may also subvert governmental regulation. As we head into unchartered legal territory, what are the existing laws that impact the Decentralized Web? Are there new rules, new approaches to legal thinking needed to encourage innovation while protecting the public?  Can decentralized technologies change governance itself, by supporting more democratic and participatory decision making?

Meanwhile, as our new decentralized web companies arise, how do we ensure they are governed in a way that won't just centralize the web all over again?



Kerry Maeve Sheehan
Coordinator, Law, Policy and Governance Track

Kerry is consulting with the Internet Archive as the coordinator of the Decentralized Web Summit’s law, policy, and governance tracks. She’s also a fellow at the Internet Law & Policy Foundry. Prior to her work on the Decentralized Web Summit, Kerry was consulting policy strategist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a policy fellow at Public Knowledge in Washington, D.C. Her work has focused primarily on copyright, patent, and free expression issues. Her writings have been published in The Hill, Slate, and the EFF’s Deeplinks Blog. She has her J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and was a visiting student at Oxford University, where she focused on media law, and international and comparative intellectual property law. She graduated magna cum laude from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a B.A. in Media Study, where she focused on artistic practices in new media, robotics, and biological art.

Paul Lindner

Paul Lindner is a Software Engineer at Google and a contributor to the Perkeep personal archiving project.  Paul is a long-time Internet and open-source developer and was one of the founders of the Internet Gopher and a key contributor to Apache Shindig and the OpenSocial Foundation.

Kevin Silverman
Internet Archive

Kevin is a summer fellow at the Archive. He currently manages sponsorships, the law and policy track and works on the website development and conference outcome documentation. He is passionate about the flow of ideas across the globe and how we relate technology to our values. He studies history, in particular Latin American history and early modern European history, at Williams College.