UCL Uncovering Politics

Regulating the Internet

Episode Summary

This week we are looking at regulation of the internet. How much of it is needed, and what form should it take?

Episode Notes

We’re focusing today on the regulation of the internet. 

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen argues that her former employer persistently puts profit above prevention of harm. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg himself argues that greater regulation of internet companies is needed – that rules for what is and isn’t allowed should be made through democratic means. And the UK – among other countries – is in the process of preparing legislation with just that goal.

So what exactly are the problems that the current wild west of the worldwide web gives rise to? What principles should guide any new legislation? And where do those principles take us in terms of concrete policy?

In this episode we are joined by two leading experts on these matters here at UCL. Dr Jeff Howard is Associate Professor of Political Theory in the UCL Department of Political Science. Regular listeners to the podcast will already be familiar with his work on regulating dangerous political speech. He is currently writing a book on the ethical limits of free speech. And he was recently awarded a highly prestigious UK Research & Innovation Future Leaders Fellowship to lead a major new multidisciplinary project on the governance of online speech. Dr Melanie Garson is Lecturer in International Conflict Resolution & International Security in the UCL Department of Political Science. She is also the Internet Policy Lead for Europe, Israel, and the Middle East in the Technology and Public Policy Department of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, where she focuses on cybersecurity policy as well as the intersection of technology and foreign policy.