Book: The Internet, Warts and All: Free Speech, Privacy and Truth – Paul Bernal

7 10 2018

My new book, the Internet, Warts and All was published in August. The subtitle – Free Speech, Privacy and Truth – gives and indication of its subject matter and scope: this is a wide-ranging, broad-brush book covering a great variety of different subjects, from some of the theoretical background to free speech, privacy and truth to specific subjects – there’s a chapter on surveillance, another on trolling, and one whose main subject is fake news. Read the rest of this entry »





Self-regulation of internet intermediaries: public duty versus private responsibility – Paul Bernal

1 06 2017

As the debate over internet intermediary liabilities has rumbled on over the last few years – sometimes quietly, sometimes quite furiously – one group has been the subject of a special squeeze: the public. The role of intermediaries, and in particular search engines and social media services, has been questioned in a number of areas with qualitatively different issues, but in almost all of them similar dynamics exist: lobbyists, governments and the intermediaries fight for their respective corners, and the interests of the public, of the ordinary internet user, are either ignored or minimised. Read the rest of this entry »





How the UK passed the most invasive surveillance law in democratic history – Paul Bernal

25 11 2016

image-20161123-19696-167r7twYou might not have noticed thanks to world events, but the UK parliament recently approved the government’s so-called Snooper’s Charter and it will soon become law. This nickname for the Investigatory Powers Bill is well earned. Read the rest of this entry »





Small steps in the struggle for digital rights? – Paul Bernal

18 10 2016

jeremy-corbynWhen Jeremy Corbyn launched his ‘Digital Democracy Manifesto’ at the end of August, he may not have inspired, but he was at least attempting to get to grips with something that really matters: how governments should deal with the internet. Read the rest of this entry »





Corbyn’s digital meh-nifesto is too rooted in the past to offer much for the future – Paul Bernal

8 09 2016

corbynWhile the Labour Party recently launched their Digital Democracy Manifesto with as much fanfare as they could muster, the reaction to it could be safely described in social media terms as “meh”. There was derision from those who deride everything Corbyn says, and very little from the rest of the media, who moved on to more important things such as after work drinks and JK Rowling’s spat with Corbyn’s Twitter followers. Read the rest of this entry »





How not to reclaim the internet – Paul Bernal

28 05 2016

reclaim-logo-singleThe new campaign to ‘Reclaim the Internet‘, to ‘take a stand against online abuse’ was launched yesterday – and it could be a really important campaign. The scale and nature of abuse online is appalling – and it is good to see that the campaign does not focus on just one kind of abuse, instead talking about ‘misogyny, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia’ and more. Read the rest of this entry »





Panama, privacy and power – Paul Bernal

9 04 2016

david-cameron-1David Cameron’s first reaction to the questions about his family’s involvement with the Mossack Fonseca leaks was that it was a ‘private matter’ – something that was greeted with a chorus of disapproval from his political opponents and large sections of both the social and ‘traditional’ media. Read the rest of this entry »