Center for Internet and Society


The Center for Internet and Society (CIS) is a research center created by the CNRS in 2019.

At the intersection of disciplines such as sociology, law, history, economics, political science, information and communication sciences, informatics and engineering sciences, the CIS intends to build independent and interdisciplinary research and expertise. The CIS's research endeavors contribute to enlighten the major technical controversies and the definition of contemporary policies related to digital, to the internet, and more broadly to informatics.

With an identity based on the interdisciplinarity of its theoretical roots and its methods, the center aims to foster expertise and critical reflection on the emerging issues of digital technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), place of the major platforms in the economy, proliferation of robotics, etc.

As part of its activities, CIS is also a laboratory for the elaboration and promotion of good practices in digital technology for science (collaborative tools, digital methods of survey, analysis and visualization of data, communication strategy, participatory research).


Created on 1 January 2019, the Center for Internet and Society is currently composed of a CNRS research unit (UPR 2000), attached to the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (INSHS) and headed by Mélanie Dulong de Rosnay (Director) and Francesca Musiani (Deputy Director).

Developing a national research network (GDR)

Digital environments and networks are objects of research for the social sciences as well as for the mathematical, computer and engineering sciences. A national research network project (GDR) is under construction to bring together researchers and academics from these different disciplines.

International Network

CIS is part of several research networks including the NoC (Global Network of the Internet and Society Research Centers), GigaNet (Global Internet Governance Academic Network), RESAW (Research Infrastructure for the Study of Archived Web Materials) and the Public Data Lab.


CIS is composed of Mélanie Dulong, Francesca Musiani, Tommaso Venturini, Jean-Marc Galan and Ksenia Ermoshina, who are CNRS permanent researchers, Céline Vaslin, executive secretary, Laura Monnier, accounting manager, and welcomes also associate and visiting researchers.


CNRS Researcher, Director

Francesca MUSIANI

CNRS Researcher, Deputy Director


CNRS Researcher

Jean-Marc GALAN

CNRS Researcher


CNRS Researcher


Executive Secretary

Associate and visiting researchers

Valérie Schafer, professor in Contemporary European History at the University of Luxembourg, Camille Paloque-Berges, research engineer at Cnam, Félix Tréguer, postdoctoral researcher at Sciences Po, and Maxime Lambrecht, invited lecturer at UCLouvain and ERG, researcher in Ethics and Internet Law at the Hoover Chair for economic and social ethics, are associate researchers.

Marida Di Crosta, lecturer HDR at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3, Liudmila Sivetc, doctoral student at the University of Turku (Finland) and Andrew Feenberg, Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, are visiting researchers.


The scientific heart of CIS is the study of Internet policies in all its facets, with particular attention to the dynamics of collaboration, horizontality and production between peers and how they are deployed as responses and diversions to the strategies of the dominant actors.

  • History of computing, practices, preservation and heritagization, creativity

    Understanding digital devices implies replacing them within the long term of a History that does not limit itself to artifacts, but restores them in the political, economic, social and technological environment that has accompanied them and that will embed their ongoing development (Schafer and Thierry, 2016). These genealogical approaches raise many methodological questions (for example on Web mapping, archives and born-digital heritage, on the use of digital traces, etc.) which do not only concern Internet historians, but all those who mobilize these materials.

  • Information, creation, commons, citizen science

    Approaches through a techno-legal framework and the political economy of platforms and infrastructures that form the basis of the production and distribution of information and knowledge (Lessig, 1999, Boyle, 2003, Benkler, 2006) distinguish between the centralization and commodification of information by dominant actors on the one hand, and the definition of alternatives for sharing, co-production, and free disposal of resources and knowledge on the basis of common goods by online communities on the other hand (Ostrom, 1990, Capra and Mattei, 2015, Cornu, Rochfeld & Orsi, 2017). Examples of common-property and peer-production studies include the digitization of public domain works, open access to publications and scientific data, and the re-uses of information and public data (open data).

  • Infrastructure, AI, platforms

    Building upon works in history of techniques and innovation (Abbate, 1999, Schafer & Thierry, 2015 and 2016), in sociology of science and technology (Bowker and Star, 1999, Akrich et al., 2006) and in law (Lessig, 1999, Cohen, 2012, Brown & Marsden, 2013), this axis focuses on digital devices – all these architectures, programming languages, protocols, algorithms, standards, applications, layers, networks, interfaces, traces, etc. which constitute the Internet in a broad sense, from the first phases of their design, to their uses and the rules, data and information that derive from them, through the multiple modalities that share, transform, enrich, deform, govern them, and make them govern. These artifacts have the specificity of blurring borders (Oram, 2001): users become co-designers; digital heritage informs present and future network developments; political issues are written in code; behaviors become marketable values.

  • Data Science

    Contemporary societies are characterized by processes of increasing “datafication” (van Dijck, 2014), encouraged by a convergence of several dynamics: a drastic increase in the means of capture, storage, reproduction and processing of data; an explosion in the volume of data transferred through these infrastructures; a diversification of the type of data; the rise of the Internet of things and artificial intelligence. Digital personal data provide a striking example of these dynamics, for the way in which they create new economic and decision-making models based on techniques of algorithmic exploitation that are both intensive and problematic for privacy (Pasquale, 2015). New tensions arise around big data, computational analysis, data mining and machine-learning, as well as between the incentives to access increasing data volumes and the calls for privacy protection (right to be forgotten, personal traces).

  • State, citizenship, surveillance, profiling, censorship, propaganda

    In the 1990s, digital technologies appeared as a formidable challenge to the sovereignty of states and their security policies, Today, because of the concentration of digital public space and the rise of a new technological cycle marked by big data and algorithmic governmentality (Rouvroy and Berns, 2012), the Internet plays an increasingly central role in the democratic balance and the geopolitical stability of our societies (Brousseau et al., 2012, Tréguer 2017). In this perspective, this axis proposes to investigate the reconfiguration the practices of power in the era of digital networks, at the intersection of political theory, history, sociology and law. Among the research topics, this will include studying the digital transformations undergone by states and by practices such as censorship and surveillance, propaganda and the so-called "fake news", intra- and inter-state conflicts. Symmetrically, this axis focuses on the logic of resistance to these practices, and the defense of civil liberties in the digital age.


CIS Seminar

Next sessions are October 1st, November 12th, December 3rd, 2019 and January 28th, 2020.

ANR ResisTIC project Conference / 21 June 2019

Through a silicon curtain? Resistances, hacks and circumventions of post-soviet Internet governance and information control.

CIS Publications

List of publications of the Center for Internet and Society in 2019.

PhD Student contract

Modeling and Systems-theory for the Disorders Of Online Media, DOOM Project. Deadline: 21 June 2019.

140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Tommaso Venturini invited to the expert hearing on parliamentary measures to fight misinformation and fake news.

New Journal PARISS

Tommaso Venturini joins the editorial board of the new journal Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS).


The ANR ResisTIC project is continuing and proposes a seminar dedicated to the analysis of resistance practices deployed in response to the growing and complex instruments of control of online activities in Russia.

Systems theory for the Disorders Of Online Media

The DOOM project, led by Paolo Frasca (GIPSA-lab), with the participation of Tommaso Venturini, permanent researcher at CIS, was selected in the "80 | Prime" CNRS call for projects.

What is a Web Archive?

This book by Francesca Musiani, Camille Paloque-Bergès, Valérie Schafer and Benjamin G. Thierry (OpenEdition Press, 2019), prizewinner of OpenEdition Books Select and distributed in open access, focuses on the born-digital heritage.

Francesca Musiani makes her "reset" of the centralized Web

This interview on the various architecture models of the network was recorded and published in March 2019 as part of the collective approach "What digital do we want?" driven by the Fing.

Network infrastructure as commons

The H2020 CAPS European project netCommons ended in December 2018. Some publications are already available in open access, others in preparation.

Next-Generation Techno-Social and Legal Encryption Access and Privacy

The H2020 CAPS European project NEXTLEAP ended in December 2018. Some publications are already available in open access, others in preparation.


Center for Internet and Society

59-61 rue Pouchet
75849 PARIS CEDEX 17

Metro Brochant or Guy Môquet

Phone: +33 1 40 25 12 75
Mailing List: cis-com
Twitter : @cis_cnrs