James Fallows, National Correspondent, "The Atlantic""For nearly a decade, Rebecca MacKinnon has been at the center of evolving debates about how the Internet will affect democracy, privacy, individual liberties, and the other values free societies want to defend. Here she makes a persuasive and important case that, as with other technological revolutions through history, the effects of today's new communications systems, for human liberation or for oppression, will depend not on the technologies themselves but rather on the resolve of citizens to shape the way in which they are used."Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab""Consent of the Networked" will become the seminal book firmly establishing the responsibility of those who control the architecture and the politics of the network to the citizens who inhabit our new digital world. "Consent of the Networked" should be required reading for all of those involved in building our networked future as well as those who live in it." Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter '66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University""Consent of the Networked" is a must-read for anyone interested in freedom of personal and political expression in the 21st century. It's accessible, engaging, and periodically hair-raising. It should have the same impact on public awareness of the vital issues surrounding Internet freedom that 'An Inconvenient Truth' had with regard to climate change." Mary Robinson, Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and President of Ireland"The Internet poses the most complex challenges and opportunities for human rights to have emerged over the last decade. Rebecca MacKinnon's book is a clear-eyed guide through that complexity." Joseph S. Nye, Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University, and author of "The Future of Power""Cyber power and governance of the internet is one of the great unsolved problems of the 21st century. Rebecca MacKinnon has
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The Internet was going to liberate us, but in truth it has not. For every story about the web’s empowering role in events such as the Arab Spring, there are many more about the quiet corrosion of civil liberties by companies and governments using the same digital technologies we have come to depend upon.
Sudden changes in Facebook’s features and privacy settings have exposed identities of protestors to police in Egypt and Iran. Apple removes politically controversial apps at the behest of governments as well as for its own commercial reasons. Dozens of Western companies sell surveillance technology to dictatorships around the world. Google struggles with censorship demands from governments in a range of countries—many of them democracies—as well as mounting public concern over the vast quantities of information it collects about its users.
In Consent of the Networked, journalist and Internet policy specialist Rebecca MacKinnon argues that it is time to fight for our rights before they are sold, legislated, programmed, and engineered away. Every day, the corporate sovereigns of cyberspace make decisions that affect our physical freedom—but without our consent. Yet the traditional solution to unaccountable corporate behavior—government regulation—cannot stop the abuse of digital power on its own, and sometimes even contributes to it.
A clarion call to action, Consent of the Networked shows that it is time to stop arguing over whether the Internet empowers people, and address the urgent question of how technology should be governed to support the rights and liberties of users around the world.