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Information Technology and Social Change

29 August 2023 at 1:30:00 am

Information technology is in many ways reproducing the world as we already know it. But once in a while, people start using technology in novel ways that stimulate real social change. Open Secrecy captures the combination of tools for mass communication and cryptography, which enable people to operate in public, but also remain off the radar. This blend of openness and secrecy gives connected, motivated groups the capacity to organize and build stuff together, even though they have the world’s most powerful law enforcement organizations on their tails. Drawing on data from multiple e-commerce markets for illegal drugs, I explain how Open Secrecy enabled market actors to bounce-back from police crackdowns and carry on in a decentralized form.


About the Speaker:

Isak Ladegaard is an Assistant Professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He writes about economic sociology, technology, and crime and deviance. In most of his work, he uses a mixture of computational and qualitative research methods. Ladegaard’s research has appeared in Social Forces, British Journal of Criminology, Socio-Economic Review, Sociological Review, and other peer-reviewed journals. His book project, titled “Open Secrecy,” is under contract with University of California Press. He has also been interviewed by multiple media outlets, including Wired Magazine, Newsweek, Le Monde, and the New York Times. His current research project on digital drug trade is funded by the National Science Foundation. Ladegaard obtained his PhD and MA in Sociology at Boston College, and a BA in Journalism at the University of Hong Kong. He was born in Oslo.


Information Technology and Social Change

Date: August 29, 2023 (Tue)

Time: 9:30am

Zoom Meeting ID: 937 0296 4423 (password: 230829)

Speaker: Dr. Isak Ladegaard

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