The Future of Decentralized Governance

Encryption, Blockchains, and Personal Data

An Internet Science Conference Workshop

October 26 2018, St. Petersburg, Russia


The Future of Decentralized Governance: A Workshop on Encryption, Blockchains, and Personal Data

Currently, there is a generalized crisis in governance as traditional governance is subsumed by the Internet. On the Internet, there has been revelations of US mass surveillance and massive abuse of personal data. The traditional governance bodies of the Internet from the ITU to W3C seem hard-pressed by Silicon Valley companies, which has lead to widespread disillusionment. At the same time, the European Union's General Data Protection Directive is attempting to enforce European rights, but purely through legal rather than technical means. Yet there have been new technologies based on encryption, such as blockchain technologies, that claim to be able to revolutionize governance. Yet, at the same time, there are numerous perils, such as the rise of opaque AI decision-making systems and consolidation of power in the hands of a few technologists, rather than a rapid democratization of technology.

Given these technical and political developments, new and improved models that take into account citizen involvement and improve meaningful participation need to be developed, along with fundamental Internet rights that can both be adopted by national governments, supra-national bodies, corporations, and cities. These principles will likely have to do with the guarantee of privacy, data protection, and other fundamental rights that are especially impacted by the Internet. This workshop will discuss the issues of decentralization, self-sovereignty, and net rights. In particular, this session will explore the understanding of the current national and international governance processes (both strengths and weaknesses, with a particular focus on the case of Russia) and new decentralized participatory practices based on crowdsourcing and direct democracy.


Room 302

School of Journalism and Mass Communications
St. Petersburg University
26, 1st line of Vasilievsky island, St.Petersburg 199004 Russia
(Sanrkt-Peterburg, 1 linia Vasil'evskogo ostrova, 26)

The precise room at St. Petersburg University will be available at the School of Journalism and Mass Communicatin, the main venue for the Internet Science 2018 conference..

For more information about the venue, see this introduction to St. Petersburg University. For more information on accomodation, see hotels and accomodation recommended by the conference.

Please contact the chairs if you need help with obtaining a visa to visit Russia


Program Committee



Call for Papers

Papers will be included in the Springer conference proceedings of the Internet Science 2018 conference.

Topics of Interest include:

This topic list is not meant to be exhaustive. We are interested in all aspects of the governance and decentralization. We encourage submissions that are "far-reaching" and "risky."

Instructions for Paper Submissions

All submissions must be original work; the submitter must clearly document any overlap with previously published or simultaneously submitted papers from any of the authors. Simultaneous submission of the same paper to another venue with proceedings or a journal is not allowed and will be grounds for automatic rejection. Contact the chairs if there are questions about this policy.

Page Limit and Formatting

Short position papers may not exceed 8 pages total and full papers may not exceed 16 pages, including references and appendices.


All submissions should follow in the Springer LNCS format and must be in Portable Document Format (.pdf). Download the formatting file here. Submissions should be in English, due to the international venue. See detailed formatting instructions if needed. The results described in your papers must be unpublished and must not be under review elsewhere.

Conference Submission Server

Papers must be submitted using Easychair ( and submissions may be updated at any time until the deadline for submissions. The submission site is open.

Publication and Presentation

Authors are responsible for obtaining appropriate publication clearances. One of the authors of the accepted paper is expected to present the paper at the conference, and the final version will be published by Springer in the conference proceedings.