Jamie Susskind THE DIGITAL REPUBLIC: On Freedom & Democracy in the 21st Century

Jamie Susskind is a British barrister and the author of the multiple awards winning bestseller, FUTURE POLITICS: LIVING TOGETHER IN A WORLD TRANSFORMED BY TECH.

His latest book is THE DIGITAL REPUBLIC: ON FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IN THE 21st CENTURY, published on July 5, 2022 by Pegasus Books.

In it he addresses questions like: Is it possible to “democratize” digital technology? What kinds of rules and standards should govern important algorithms? Should powerful figures in the tech industry be regulated, like doctors or lawyers, or even hair salon workers? Is anti-trust law fit for the purpose? What rules should govern the use and abuse of personal data? Can we regulate social media without stifling freedom of speech?

With more and more news reports of the damage that digital technology is doing to individuals as well as our democracy, Jamie Susskind’s insights into the problems and challenges to reforming this largely unregulated industry are helpful for citizens grappling with the many issues with which we are faced.

We spoke with him via Skype on July 6, 2022.

Articles pertinent to this interview:

Facebook gave police their private data. Now, this duo face abortion charges https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/10/facebook-user-data-abortion-nebraska-police

Amazon Admits Giving Ring Camera Footage to Police Without a Warrant or Consent https://theintercept.com/2022/07/13/amazon-ring-camera-footage-police-ed-markey/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Intercept%20Newsletter

The Uber files tell a simple truth: democracy depends on curbing mercenary tech giants https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/11/uber-files-democracy-silicon-valley

‘Frankly it blew my mind’: how Tron changed cinema – and predicted the future of tech https://www.theguardian.com/film/2022/jul/05/tron-steven-lisberger-interview

Police sweep Google searches to find suspects. The tactic is facing its first legal challenge. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/police-google-reverse-keyword-searches-rcna35749?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Push to rein in social media sweeps the states https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/01/social-media-sweeps-the-states-00043229

Parents Sue TikTok, Saying Children Died After Viewing ‘Blackout Challenge’ https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/06/technology/tiktok-blackout-challenge-deaths.html

Families sue TikTok after girls died while trying ‘blackout challenge’ https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jul/05/tiktok-girls-dead-blackout-challenge

‘Asleep at the Wheel’: Canada Police’s Spyware Admission Raises Alarm https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/07/canada-police-spyware-admission-surveillance-experts

How long will Twitter stand by as ‘online violence’ curtails our right to know? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/01/twitter-online-violence-journalists-rana-ayyub

The future of privacy rights in a post-Roe world https://www.axios.com/2022/06/29/privacy-right-roe-v-wade-dobbs-v-jackson-online-data

Google says it will delete users’ location history at abortion clinics, other ‘personal’ data https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/01/google-abortion-delete-history-00043841

Deleting Your Period Tracker Won’t Protect You https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/30/technology/period-tracker-privacy-abortion.html

Fact Check-Does ‘2000 Mules’ provide evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 U.S. presidential election? https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-usa-mules-idUSL2N2XJ0OQ

Chatbots Are a Danger to Democracy https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/04/opinion/chatbots-ai-democracy-free-speech.html?searchResultPosition=1