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  • Cited by 93
  • Nicolas P. Suzor, Queensland University of Technology School of Law and Digital Media Research Centre
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2019
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

Rampant abuse, hate speech, censorship, bias, and disinformation - our Internet has problems. It is governed by technology companies - search engines, social media platforms, and infrastructure providers - whose hidden rules influence what we are allowed to see and say. In Lawless, Nicolas P. Suzor presents gripping examples of exactly how tech companies govern our digital environment and how they bend to pressure from governments and other powerful actors to censor and control the flow of information online. We are at a constitutional moment - an opportunity to rethink the basic rules of how the Internet is governed. Suzor offers a vision of a vibrant, diverse, and flourishing internet that can protect our fundamental rights from the lawless rule of tech. The culmination of more than ten years of original research, this groundbreaking work should be read by anyone who cares about the internet and the future of our shared social spaces.


'Lawless is realistic but optimistic about how things on the Internet got so bad and what it will take to fix them. Suzor compellingly describes how constitutionalism and the rule of law can adapt to digital spaces.'

James Grimmelmann - Cornell University, New York

'In Lawless, Nicolas P. Suzor doesn't just raise questions about the power tech companies wield, he sets out to answer them, with urgency and care. He offers a lucid, ambitious, wide-ranging, and cautiously hopeful analysis of how platforms govern – and how they should – that comes at just the right moment.'

Tarleton Gillespie - Microsoft Research New England and author of Custodians of the Internet

'Suzor's book is a critically important account on the cutting edge of a global sea change in how we imagine our rights will be protected – or not – in a world connected by networked technology.'

Kate Klonick - St John's University, New York

'Suzor takes readers on a journey through the challenges and pitfalls of Internet governance. His book is a thoughtful examination of why the constitutional values of legitimacy, transparency and due process are the touchstones we need for a better internet.'

Primavera De Filippi - author of Blockchain and the Law

'Suzor's book is a truly thorough look at one of today's most pressing issues and provides real guidance on how we can move forward, together.'

Jillian York - Director for International Freedom of Expression, Electronic Frontier Foundation

'General readers and upper-level political science, business, information technology, and law students will benefit from the evidence Suzor has gathered in order to grapple with his call for corporations’ self-imposed constitutionalization.'

H. L. Katz Source: Choice

‘This affordable title will appeal to law students and faculty members researching the topic for a seminar or article touching on Internet law, women and law, harassment, international law, copyright, and more. Recommended for academic law libraries.’

Andrea Alexander Source: Law Library Journal

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