Sovereignty 2.0

(2021). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2404

University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2021/041

38 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2021 Last revised: 30 Sep 2021

See all articles by Anupam Chander

Anupam Chander

Georgetown University Law Center

Haochen Sun

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 12, 2021

Abstract

Digital sovereignty—the exercise of control over the internet—is the ambition of the world’s leaders, from Australia to Zimbabwe, a bulwark against both foreign state and foreign corporation. Governments have resoundingly answered first-generation internet law questions of who if anyone should regulate the internet—they all will. We now confront second generation questions—not whether, but how to regulate the internet. We argue that digital sovereignty is simultaneously a necessary incident of democratic governance and democracy’s dreaded antagonist. As international law scholar Louis Henkin taught us, sovereignty can insulate a government’s worst ills from foreign intrusion. Assertions of digital sovereignty, in particular, are often double-edged—useful both to protect citizens and to control them. Digital sovereignty can magnify the government’s powers by making legible behaviors that were previously invisible to the state. Thus, the same rule can be used to safeguard or repress--a feature that legislators across the Global North and South should anticipate by careful checks and balances.

Keywords: data sovereignty, digital sovereignty, sovereignty, internet governance, internet freedom, extraterritoriality

Suggested Citation

Chander, Anupam and Sun, Haochen, Sovereignty 2.0 (August 12, 2021). (2021). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2404, University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 2021/041, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3904949 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3904949

Anupam Chander (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

Washington, DC

HOME PAGE: http://Chander.org

Haochen Sun

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
China

HOME PAGE: http://www0.hku.hk/law/faculty/staff/sun_haochen.html

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