The Book

A global struggle for control of the Internet is now underway.  At stake are no less than civil liberties, privacy and even the character of democracy in the 21st century.

Many commentators have debated whether the Internet is ultimately a force for freedom of expression and political liberation, or for alienation, and repression. Rebecca MacKinnon moves the debate about the Internet’s political impact to a new level. It is time, she says, to stop arguing over whether the Internet empowers individuals and societies, and address the more fundamental and urgent question of how technology should be structured and governed to support the rights and liberties of all the world’s Internet users.

Drawing upon two decades of experience as an international journalist, co-founder of the citizen media network Global Voices, Chinese Internet censorship expert, and Internet freedom activist, MacKinnon offers a framework for concerned citizens to understand the complex and often hidden power dynamics amongst governments, corporations, and citizens in cyberspace. She warns that a convergence of unchecked government actions and unaccountable company practices threatens the future of democracy and human rights around the world.

Consent of the Networked is a call to action: Our freedom in the Internet age depends on whether we defend our rights on digital platforms and networks in the same way that people fight for their rights and accountable governance in physical communities and nations. It is time to stop thinking of ourselves as passive “users” of technology and instead act like citizens of the Internet – as netizens – and take ownership and responsibility for our digital future.


  1. Some form of rules and governance is very necessary for the meaningful exploitation of both art and science of internet technology lest we fall in the curse of cyber-anarchy


  1. […] internet activist and New America Senior Fellow Rebecca MacKinnon spoke at LSE about her new book, Consent of the Network. The book is based on the notion that our civil liberties, privacy and democracy could be at […]

  2. […] à Tecnologia“), Rebecca MacKinnon (co-fundadora do Global Voices e autora do livro “Consentimento dos Conectados“) e John O. McGinnis (professor de direito constitucional especialista em tecnologia e […]

  3. […] [OFFICIAL BOOK WEBSITE] Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom ( […]

  4. […] policy experts who attend events such as the IGF, said Rebecca MacKinnon, author of  ”Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom.” Revisiting a theme discussed in her book, MacKinnon said the world is at a moment similar […]

  5. […] that forcing complete openness on strangers is both naïve and authoritarian. Rebecca McKinnon demonstrates why this is true with her description of the clash between aspirational Silicon Valley […]

  6. […] Finally, Mele argues, we must recognize that modern behemoths like Facebook, Google, and Twitter “constitute our digital commons,” and hold them accountable not just as businesses and tools for individuals, but as “a digital town square.” He quotes Rebecca MacKinnon’s Consent of the Networked: […]

  7. […] Rebecca MacKinnon’s insight on surveillance and government’s role with the Internet in her book Consent of the Network and Jaron Lanier’s insight about internet transparency in “The Hazards of Nerd Supremacy: The […]

  8. […] As Rebecca MacKinnon pointed out in her Consensus of the Networked: […]

  9. […] Больше о книге и движении за свободу в Интернете можно узнать тут: […]

  10. […] prominence in recent years, especially in the wake of the Arab Spring. As Mackinnon points out in Consent of the Networked: “… social media, including Twitter and Facebook, served as important tools for […]

  11. […] for the China readings, I was intrigued by MacKinnon‘s explanation of “networked authoritarianism” which includes both the lack of […]

  12. […] as Rebecca McKinnon claims in her Consent of the Networked: “ In the Internet age, it is inevitable that corporations and government agencies have access to […]

  13. […] for users to feel safe sharing themselves. However, as Rebecca MacKinnon makes clear in her book, “Consent of the Networked”, the government and corporations often have far more control over our information than users might […]

  14. […] and social life, a global debate is underway about Digital Dominance: the increasing power of what Rebecca Mackinnon called ‘Facebookistan and Googledom’ and Timothy Garton-Ash in his new book calls the internet […]

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