The Govtech Stack – Building and Buying Towards Digital Sovereignty

Forthcoming in Colorado Technology Law Journal, Volume 23, Issue 1

31 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2024

See all articles by Smitha Krishna Prasad

Smitha Krishna Prasad

Georgetown University Law Center; National Law School of India University

Date Written: May 5, 2024

Abstract

As many countries move towards regulating to restrict the impact of big tech, there is corresponding debate on how such regulations are assertions of digital sovereignty–and whether such assertions of sovereignty are useful or harmful. However, today, the use of technology in the administrative state–for government functions and services–can have as much impact as, if not more than big tech. Governments are developing, buying, and using digital technologies in administrative functions and services, and building digital public infrastructure (govtech).

This Article uses India’s govtech story as a case study, to showcase the impact of govtech and digital public infrastructure in India and globally. It argues that discussions on digital sovereignty must be broadened to address both the uses and harms of govtech, and the global movements that promote the use of govtech in global south countries. By expanding our understanding of digital sovereignty, we can use the theories and values associated with sovereignty to shape the values that govtech programs should be guided by.

Keywords: tech law, digital sovereignty, govtech, digital public infrastructure

Suggested Citation

Krishna Prasad, Smitha, The Govtech Stack – Building and Buying Towards Digital Sovereignty (May 5, 2024). Forthcoming in Colorado Technology Law Journal, Volume 23, Issue 1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4817851 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4817851

Smitha Krishna Prasad (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

National Law School of India University ( email )

Nagarbhavi, PO Box 72
Bangalore, Karnataka 560072
India

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