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Jamie Susskind on Breaking the Power of Big Tech

How can freedom and democracy survive in a world of powerful digital technologies?

Trolling, conspiracy theories, racist algorithms, cyberwarfare – every day our headlines are ablaze with negative stories about the internet. The problem? The unaccountable power of the big tech companies. 

That’s the view of bestselling author and barrister Jamie Susskind, who has been acclaimed for his groundbreaking work by the likes of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The problem, he believes, is not just the fault of a few bad apples at the top of the industry but the result of our failure to govern technology properly, a failure derived from decades of muddled ideas and wishful thinking. 

In June 2022 Susskind came to Intelligence Squared to discuss the themes of his new book The Digital Republic and to set out his vision of a different type of society in which humans can take power back and reshape the digital world into a space where we can all flourish. With his rare understanding of both law and technology, he set out a roadmap for new legal standards, new public bodies and institutions, new duties on platforms, new rights and regulators, and new codes of conduct for people in the tech industry.

Praise for Jamie Susskind’s The Digital Republic:

The Digital Republic is as innovative in its ideas as it is sharp with its analysis, offering an important contribution to the future of technology regulation while bridging the gap between changemakers and policymakers’ – Tony Blair

Original and hopeful, The Digital Republic provides a unique guide to the great challenges of the digital age‘ – Anne Applebaum

Lucid and persuasive‘ – Niall Ferguson

In the shadow of algorithmic discrimination, Big Tech’s overarching power, and menacing cyberwarfare, Susskind offers an alternative, enticing and convincing in equal parts: digital republicanism. I am sold. Read this book.’ –  Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, co-author of Big Data and Framers



Jamie Susskind

Barrister and author of The Digital Republic: On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century

Barrister and author of the award-winning  bestseller Future Politics: Living Together in a World Transformed  by Tech, which received the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize 2019 and was an Evening Standard and Prospect Book of the  Year. He has held fellowships at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, and at the Berggruen Institute. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Times, Wired, The Daily Telegraph, Fast Company, and the New Statesman. His new book is The Digital Republic: On Freedom and Democracy in the 21st Century

Nina Schick

Technology expert and advisor to former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Technology expert whose work focuses on how artificial intelligence is reshaping democracy and geopolitics. Her research has focused on next-generation disinformation in the form of AI-generated deep fakes. She worked on the UK's 2016 EU Referendum and on Emmanuel Macron's successful bid to become French President in 2017. She frequently appears as a contributor on Bloomberg, Sky and the BBC, and has been published by the Times, CNN, the Sunday Telegraph and the New Statesman.