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The internet promised both liberty and equality. At the dawn of the internet age, a popular book declared “the world is flat”—that opportunity was now global. But utopian visions gave way to a reality of gaping economic disparities, widespread surveillance, data exploitation, and technology trade wars. This book begins by mapping how we got here, arguing that law helped create the geography of the internet. But existing law will prove inadequate as decisions about us are made by artificial intelligence, often from afar, and as robots take to the streets and drones to the air. As the internet becomes even more powerful, as it moves from a communications system to a control system, we need to regulate algorithms, protect privacy and cybersecurity, and ensure accountability and safety. As the internet becomes the central operating system for humanity, how it is regulated will determine our civil rights and our economic future.
Anupam Chander is Professor of Law at Georgetown University. The author of The Electronic Silk Road (Yale Univ. Press), he is an expert on the global regulation of new technologies. A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law, he clerked for Chief Judge Jon O. Newman of the 2nd Circuit and Judge William A. Norris of the 9th Circuit. He practiced law in NY and Hong Kong with Cleary, Gottlieb. He has been a visiting law professor at Yale, Chicago, Stanford, Cornell, & Tsinghua. A recipient of Google Research Awards and an Andrew Mellon grant on surveillance, he has served as a consultant to the World Bank, World Economic Forum and UNCTAD, and is a member of the American Law Institute.