Welcome to my blog. To get the ball rolling I thought I’d direct you to my article on the public interest obligations of search engines, which will give you a sense of my research interests: Private Power, Public Interest: An Examination of Search Engine Accountability. Here is the abstract:
“As information becomes a critical commodity in modern society, the issue is raised whether the entities that manage access to information, that are tools for public discourse and democracy, should be accountable to the public. The Internet has transformed how we communicate, and search engines have emerged as managers of information, organizing and categorizing content in a coherent, accessible manner thereby shaping the Internet user’s experience. This article examines whether search engines should have public interest obligations. In order to answer this question, this article first examines comparative public interest regulatory structures, and the growing importance of the Internet to public discourse. Then examined is how the algorithmic designs and manual manipulation of rankings by search engines affects the public interest without a sufficient accountability structure. Finally, the values necessary to a public interest framework are suggested.”
I have shifted the focus for my PhD to an examination of the human rights obligations of Internet gatekeepers. I expect that this theme will dominate quite a few of my posts for the time being.
For now, some interesting tidbits in the news: The dreaded Digital Economy Bill has been passed by the Lords bringing us one step closer to a three-strikes law in Britain for illegal file-sharers. See also the Guardian’s commentary here.