I didn’t have nearly as much time this year to review the steadily growing stream of information policy books that were released. The end-of-year lists I put together in the past were fairly comprehensive (see 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), but I got sidetracked this year with 7 law review articles and an eBook project and had almost no time for book reviews, or even general blogging for that matter.
So, I’ve just listed some of the more notable titles from 2013 even though I didn’t find the time to describe them all. The first couple are the titles that I believe will have the most lasting influence on information technology policy debates. Needless to say, just because I believe that some of these titles will have an impact on policy going forward does not mean I endorse the perspectives or recommendations in any of them. And that would certainly be the case with my choice for most important Net policy book of the year, Ian Brown and Chris Marsden’s Regulating Code. Their book does a wonderful job mapping the unfolding universe of Internet “co-regulation” and “multi-stakeholderism,” but their defense of a more politicized information policy future leaves lovers of liberty like me utterly demoralized.
The same could be said of many other titles on the list. As I noted in concluding several reviews over the past year, liberty is increasingly a loser in Internet policy circles these days. And it’s not just neo-Marxist rants like McChesney’s Digital Disconnect or Lanier’s restatement of the Unibomber Manifesto, Who Owns the Future? The sad reality is that pretty much everybody these days has a pet peeve they want addressed through pure power politics because, you know, something must be done! The very term “Internet freedom” has already been grotesquely contorted into something akin to an open mandate for governments to meticulously plan virtually every facet of economic and social activity in the Information Age.
Anyway, despite that caveat, many interesting books were released in 2013 on an ever-expanding array of specific information policy topics. Here’s the list of everything that landed on my desk over the past year.
- Ian Brown & Christopher T. Marsden – Regulating Code: Good Governance and Better Regulation in the Information Age [my review]
- Ronald Deibert – Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace [my review]
- Anupam Chander – The Electronic Silk Road: How the Web Binds the World Together in Commerce [my review]
- Marvin Ammori – On Internet Freedom
- Jaron Lanier – Who Owns the Future?
- Ethan Zuckerman – Rewire: Digital Cosmopolitans in the Age of Connection
- Eric Schmidt & Jared Cohen – The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business
- Abraham H. Foxman & Christopher Wolf – Viral Hate: Containing Its Spread on the Internet [my review]
- Nicco Mele – The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath
- Clive Thompson – Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better [my review] (** note: This was my favorite book of the year, but it didn’t have a lot to say about policy.)
- Evgeny Morozov – To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism [my review]
- Viktor Mayer-Schonberger & Kenneth Cukier – Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
- Thomas Rid – Cyber War Will Not Take Place
- Nate Anderson – The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed
- Robert W. McChesney – Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy
- Giovanni Ziccardi – Resistance, Liberation Technology and Human Rights in the Digital Age
- John O. McGinnis – Accelerating Democracy: Transforming Governance Through Technology
- Scott Shackelford – Managing Cyber Attacks in International Law, Business and Relations: In Search of Cyber Peace
- Paul Rosenzweig – Cyber Warfare: How Conflicts in Cyberspace Are Challenging America and Changing the World
- Alice E. Marwick – Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity, and Branding in the Social Media Age
- Dorothea Kleine – Technologies Of Choice? ICTs, Development, and the Capabilities Approach