we research power and contestation in transnational media infrastructures. the critical infrastructure lab aims to create space to co-develop alternative infrastructural futures that center people and planet over profit and capital. we aim to do this by establishing a community around three infrastructural subtopic (geopolitics, standards, environment), producing a sound body of research, and developing actionable policy recommendations and strategic insights. do you want to know more? have a look at our slide deck or send us a message.


reading group infrastructure reading group

reading group environment reading group

talk - presentation - panel Open panel “Overcoming Sociotechnical Imaginaries: Infrastructural ideologies and materialities?” at 4S conference, Hawaii November, 2023

talk - presentation - panel Open panel “Ecological crises and the role of technologies: harm, violence, and the quest for accountabilities” at 4S conference, Hawaii november 2023

talk - presentation - panel Open panel “Russia’s War on Ukraine – Environments, Imperialism, Infrastructures” at 4S conference, Hawaii november 2023

event NL IGF event – “Future-Proof Internet Governance: The Power of Multistakeholder Collaboration” September 2023

event Workshop on international standard-setting for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Interior Affairs, and Economic Affairs and Climate September 2023


special issue branch magazine: issue #6 green screen, Katrin Fritsch, Fieke Jansen, Maya Richman, and Katherine Waters. September 2023

academic publication maxigas and niels ten oever. 2023. geopolitics in the infrastructural ideology of 5G. global media & china, Global Media and China, August, https://doi.org/10.1177/20594364231193950.

working paper fieke jansen, merve gülmez, becky kazansky, harriet kingaby, claire fernandez, and jan tobias mühlberg. 2023. the climate crisis is a digital rights crisis: exploring the civil-society framing of two intersecting disasters. ninth workshop on computing within limits

report building a relational infrastructure; the launch of the critical infrastructure lab, fieke jansen, niels ten oever, maxigas, et al (2023)

report loud men talking loudly report on exclusionary cultures of internet governance, corinne cath, funded by the ford foundation, april 2023

report thinking infrastructurally about open source software thomas streinz, funded by the ford foundation, april 2023

essay fieke jansen. 2023. Article 37 Environment protection, internet infrastructure and the data economy, in Giannopoulou (ed) digital rights are charter rights. digital freedom fund, pp. 50-52

media podcast by bits of freedom featuring fieke jansen introducing the lab, april 2023

media radio interview at dutch public national broadcaster radio 1 on internet shutdowns, april 2023

working paper ten oever, niels. towards the multistakeholder imposition of internet sanctions, 2022

academic publication ten oever, niels. 2022. 5g and the notion of network ideology, or: the limitations of sociotechnical imaginaries, telecommunications policy, elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.telpol.2022.102442

academic publication ten oever, niels, corinne cath, mirja kühlewind, and colin perkins. report from the iab workshop on analyzing ietf data (aid) 2021. request for comments. internet engineering task force, september 2022. doi: 10.17487/rfc9307.

academic publication ten oever, niels, and stefania milan. the making of international communication standards: towards a theory of power in standardization in journal of standardisation 1 (june 29, 2022). https://doi.org/10.18757/jos.2022.6205.

academic publication becker, christoph., ten oever, niels, and riccardo nanni. the standardisation of lawful interception technologies in the 3gpp: interrogating 5g and surveillance amid us-china competition, washington dc: tprc2022

working paper maxigas and ten oever, niels. the people’s 5g laboratory: critical perspectives on media technologies, 2021

report human rights are not a bug: upgrading governance for an equitable internet report about the governance of the internet infrastructure, funded by the ford foundation, 2021

academic publication ten oever, niels. 2021. 5g and the notion of network ideology, or: the limitations of sociotechnical imaginaries in giganet annual symposium 2021 proceedings. katowice: giganet, internet governance forum

academic publication dunajcsik, peter “maxigas,” and niels ten oever. 2021. geopolitics in the infrastructural ideologies of 5g aoir selected papers of internet research, aoir2021 https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12163.

academic publication ten oever, niels. 2021. the quantum state of infrastructure reconfiguration in 5g in selected papers in internet research 2021. research from the annual conference of the association of internet researchers. aoir 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12056.

academic publication ten oever, niels (2021) norm conflict in the governance of transnational and distributed infrastructures: the case of internet routing, globalizations, doi: (doi:10.1080/14747731.2021.1953221)

ten oever, niels (2021) “this is not how we imagined it”: technological affordances, economic drivers, and the internet architecture imaginary. new media & society. 2021;23(2):344-362. (doi:10.1177/1461444820929320)

software benthall, sebastian, nick doty, niels ten oever, and christoph becker. bigbang (version 0.4.0). python, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5243261.

people and governance


niels ten oever

niels@criticalinfralab.net – co-principal investigator – geopolitics lead

niels is assistant professor of ai and european democracies and co-principal investigator with the critical infrastructure lab at the university of amsterdam. next to that, he is a research fellow with the centre for internet and human rights at the european university viadrina, non-resident fellow with the center for democracy and technology, affiliated faculty with the digital democracy institute at the simon fraser university, and an associated scholar with the centro de tecnologia e sociedade at the fundação getúlio vargas. he also serves as vice-chair for the global internet governance academic network. his research focuses on how norms, values, and ideologies get inscribed, resisted, and subverted in communication infrastructures through their transnational governance.

niels tries to understand how invisible infrastructures provide a socio-technical ordering to information societies and how this influences the distribution of wealth, power, and possibilities.


peter ‘maxigas’ dunajcsik – maxigas@criticalinfralab.net – co-principal investigator – standards lead

maxigas is senior lecturer in media & culture at the media department of the university of amsterdam. he interested in hacker culture, cybernetic ideologies, infrastructural imaginaries, and the materiality of the digital. he uses media ethnography and digital methods to answer philosophical questions about contemporary social conflicts. with a thoroughly interdisciplinary background in the social sciences and humanities, a decade long industry experience in it, and a history of media activist practice, he brings a theoretically sophisticated, technologically grounded, politically savvy perspective to debates on media and culture. his papers have been published in leading journals in science and technology studies as well as media studies, from the social studies in science, through the journal of peer production, to most recently in the internet policy review.

fieke jansen

fieke jansen – fieke@criticalinfralab.net – co-principal investigator – environment lead

fieke is a postdoc researcher at the university of amsterdam. previously she was a postdoc at the data justice lab at cardiff university, where she researched the relationship between datafication on labour in the netherlands. in her phd she looked at the institutional and societal implications of data-driven risk scoring and biometric recognition in brussels, belgium, the netherlands, and the uk. fieke is a former mozilla and green web foundation fellow where she explored ways to frame the climate crisis as a core digital rights issue. prior to starting her phd fieke worked for hivos where she set up the digital defenders partnership and at tactical tech where she lead the politics of data program.

fieke's research interest is to understand how the material impact of expending infrastructures are shaping the management, distribution, and depletion of natural resources.


corinne cath

corinne@criticalinfralab.net – fellow 2023-2024 – environment

corinne is an anthropologist studying internet infrastructure politics. she brings ethnographic praxis to the study of computing cultures, cloud politics, and internet governance. 

as an inaugural critical infrastructure lab fellow, she will be investigating the rough cultures that define internet governance communities and how cloud computing is changing power dynamics in the internet industry. she also has a keen interest in researching the intersection between space governance and internet technologies, including satellites and cosmic content delivery networks.

ellen strickland

ellen@criticalinfralab.net – fellow 2023-2024 – geopolitics

ellen is an internet policy practitioner and researcher who has been studying and engaging in the shaping of internet governance and infrastructure since the early 2000s, during the WSIS process. She has engaged from across sectors, including as a government official, technical community leader, civil society advocate, and satellite investment company founder.

as a fellow she will be reflecting on approaches to research and praxis, building on her previous research grounded in a critical political economy perspective and exploring discursive and sociological practices of internet policymaking.

she has a keen interest in reform of multilateral and multistakeholder Internet governance, as well as Internet infrastructure development to help people respond to and reduce the impacts of climate crisis. 

jenna ruddock

jenna@criticalinfralab.net – fellow 2023-2024 – environment

jenna is a researcher and advocate interested in the intersections of law, technology, media and environmental justice.

as a critical infrastructure lab fellow, she will be continuing her research on data centers, water use, and community resistance/governance. this work aims to situate data center construction, operations, and expansion within a broader history of industrial infrastructure politics. 

vasilis ververis

vasilis@criticalinfralab.net – fellow 2023-2024 – standards

vasilis is a researcher studying the technical implications of internet censorship in the eu and worldwide.

during their fellowship at the critical infrastructure lab, vasilis will work on a system that can track, categorize, and enumerate incidents of internet censorship, and network disruptions due to human or natural disasters that
affect websites and Internet services. 

becoming a fellow

are you interested in becoming a fellow? for us a fellow is someone  who is connected to the infrastructure lab and adds to the body of knowledge and activities of the lab. the relationship should be mutually beneficial and contribute to creating new infrastructural imaginaries. fellows are selected for an academic year with the possibility to add another year. what we request of you is that you join our reading groups, organize an activity, and/or (co-)author a paper with us. what can we offer: an affiliation, participation in the (intellectual life of the) lab and the possibility to present on lab days, and have a space and platform to co-organize something. if needed, we can also explore if we can be fiscal sponsor for your projects. we provide desk space if needed. interested? contact one of the co-pis!