Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet


Product Details

$15.99  $14.87
Columbia Global Reports
Publish Date
4.9 X 7.4 X 0.6 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author

David Kaye is clinical professor of law and director of the International Justice Clinic at the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression from 2014-2020. His articles have appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Slate, and Foreign Affairs. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.


"An essential contribution to the discussion of free speech and its online enemies." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Concise, elegant and necessary." --Peter Pomerantsev, The American Interest

"Kaye brilliantly layers analysis of the politicization of content on platforms and the growth of efforts, mostly in Europe, to regulate these private, mostly American companies. All the while, Kaye makes sure readers are aware of the complexities and how free speech may be embattled if some of these regulations are put into effect at scale.... Insightful for readers who have tracked the history of expression on the Internet and who enjoy connecting that history to law and culture." --Library Journal

"We're at a critical juncture, in which the long-overdue techlash is being co-opted to put more power in the hands of Big Tech, in the guise of forcing the tech giants to take on more responsibility. Getting this right will have implications for decades. David Kaye's book is crucial to understanding the tactics, rhetoric and stakes in one of the most consequential free speech debates in human history." --Cory Doctorow, author of Radicalized, Walkaway and Little Brother

"Speech Police is an essential primer for understanding the toughest global governance problem of our digital age. The future of human rights and democracy depends on whether the exercise of government and private power across globally networked digital platforms can be constrained and held accountable." --Rebecca MacKinnon, author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom

"This is an important, timely, and provocative book on a hugely important topic. Everyone interested in free expression and social media should (and will) read it." --Noah Feldman, Felix Frankfurter Professor at Harvard Law School

"David Kaye has been an outstanding UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, and in this report he pungently distils his findings on one of the most important issues of our time." --Timothy Garton Ash, author of Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World

"In this accessible, urgent volume, Kaye takes us on a whirlwind global tour of social media's sites of impact, from on-the-ground reports of activists in dangerous political climates to the candid conversations behind the closed doors of corporate boardrooms and the halls of government alike. His access allows us an unprecedented and often unguarded view of the players at all echelons, be they corporate scions, heads of state or rabble-rousing resistance journalists. In all cases, Kaye unveils the competing interests, hidden motivations, factions and forces influencing these platforms and introduces us to the many actors with a stake in their proliferation or restriction. All are given an unvarnished analysis by the individual charged with advancing the principles of human rights for a worldwide constituency.... A must-read for anyone invested in the issues this book touches: in other words, all of us." --Sarah Roberts, University of California, Los Angeles