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9 - Protecting Fundamental Rights

from Part II - A New Social Contract – Constitutionalizing Internet Governance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 June 2019

Nicolas P. Suzor
Affiliation:
Queensland University of Technology School of Law and Digital Media Research Centre
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Summary

Because technology companies play such a large role in governing our lives, we should expect them to constitutionalize their processes for making decisions that affect our fundamental rights. By constitutionalization, I mean particularly the introduction of limits imposed by companies on their own exercise of power.2 This process of constitutionalization is the transformation of political limits that have historically only applied to governments to apply to a decentralized environment where many different types of actors can be said to play a governing role in society.3 This is the translation of the concept of the rule of law to formalize the “lawless” internal processes of powerful corporations in a way that limits and regulates how power is exercised. This translation is a shift away from purely legal conceptions of the rule of law that is essential to pursue if the core goal of the rule of law – limiting the arbitrary exercise of power – is to be achieved in the messy social systems of real life where governments are not the only bodies that regulate our lives.4

Type
Chapter
Information
Lawless
The Secret Rules That Govern Our Digital Lives
, pp. 115 - 127
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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