Brad Fidler / keys
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Hello, World

I am a consulting historian of computing, which means I use historical analysis to improve outcomes for STEM and tech policy organizations and research projects. I specialize in the evolution of computer network protocols, architectures, security, and technical management.

I work as an Assistant Professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in the Science, Technology, and Society Program. Previously I was a researcher with the UCLA Computer Science Department. Prior to that I studied political economy, economic history, and the history of technology.

Current Funded Research Projects

Google: DNSSEC and the IANA Functions. This study is an assessment of how the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions will incorporate the present and expanded technical and coordination requirements imposed by the Domain Name System Security Extensions.

Lockheed Martin: Mission Engineering and Multi-Domain Operations. Multi-Domain Operations integrate communications between assets across multiple domains (e.g. subsea, sea, land, air, and space) as a coherent system-of-systems.

National Science Foundation: Sociotechnical Metrics Frameworks for Network and Security Operation Centers. I am working with fellow PI Alex Bardas to specify a new class of metrics frameworks for enterprise network Security Operations Centers.

ICANN: Visualizing the Evolution of Internet Identifiers. This project is creating a comprehensive dataset of node/edge relationships governing the maintenance, assignment, and reservation of Internet identifiers, from their origins in 1967 until 2017.


I have three book projects underway; manuscripts for the first two are nearly complete.

Inventing Protocol is under contract with The MIT Press and supported by the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (USC/ISI), where I am a Visiting Research Scholar. It is a historical analysis of the ontological systems that structure key Internet protocols, as well as incremental changes and clean-slate redesigns.

The Creation and Technical Administration of Internet Identifiers is the first systematic study of the forms of authority behind the IANA functions), from their inception until the IANA Stewardship Transition. Co-authored with Russ Mundy, introduction by Vint Cerf and Steve Crocker; Google and ICANN funding.

Anxiety continues my PhD research on how networked computation mediates the relationships between mental illness diagnostic categories and self.


Zotero: A list of publications with PDFs.

ORCID: Nothing like a persistent identifier to really tie the system together.

ResearchGate: A horrid company, but I keep them updated.

Google Scholar

Upcoming Publications

Political Values in Technical Systems: Reconsidering IETF Human Rights Protocol Considerations is a paper that Farzaneh Badiei and I are writing. We presented it at IETF 104 and I posted the very early draft.

Adapting the Internet to the COVID-19 Crisis: Early Findings from a Security Operations Center, is a paper on reconfiguring enterprise networks to suit the qualitative shifts in Internet use brought on by the pandemic.

The Origins of Bindings is a paper on the evolution of binding architectures that I aim to publish this year.

DNSSEC and the Future of the Root Zone is a technical report on the institutional basis of the Domain Name System Security Extensions.

Seventeen Myths About Cyberspace is a think-piece type thing that should be out later in 2020.

Other Things

Teaching: I have developed and taught courses on Computing and Capitalism, Internet Politics and Protocols, and Cyberspace and National Security. I am developing a new course on foundational principles in computer science, co-taught with Stevens Software Engineering, and another on the intersection of psychopharmacology markets and computation.

Gardening: I do my best.

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