Information societies are governed by a mixture of public and private ordering. Laws and regulations set and executed by public authorities coexist with the code, algorithms, and community standards set and executed by private corporations. The increasing regulatory role played by private actors in the digital domain has given rise to a range of practices through which technology companies deliberately constrain public actors to avert or restrict various forms of what they consider as government overreach. These practices take place across different types of interactions between companies and governments, including privatization, information sharing, inverse regulation, and outsourcing, through which the public regulator becomes the target of private regulation and the subject of private governance. In this paper, I document, conceptualize, and explore the motivations and normative implications of the emerging phenomenon of private online checking and balancing.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!