Rita seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities available to states as they seek control over the global communications infrastructure. She is interested in the application of enduring legal and geopolitical thinking to new technologies. Her historical book project, Reluctant power: networks, corporations and the struggle for global governance in the early 20th century, analyzes the transition from British to American leadership in global communications by defining “network control” and applying the concept to the early point-to-point radio network. Her new project examines the origins and contemporary manifestations of anonymity online. Rita serves on the editorial board of The Information Society and her research has appeared in the following journals: Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, International Communication Gazette, Media, Culture and Society and The Information Society. On the undergraduate level, she teaches Media and Society, Privacy and anonymity on the Internet and Communication, Technology and National Security. Courses on the graduate level include Internet Histories and Surveillance and Privacy on the Internet.
In Reluctant Power, Rita Zajácz examines how early twentieth century American policymakers sought to gain control over radiotelegraphy networks in an effort to advance the global position of the United States. Doing so, she develops an analytical framework for understanding the struggle for network control that can be applied not only to American attempts to establish a global radio network in the early twentieth century but also to current US efforts to retain control of the internet.