Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet
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Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet

Edited by Ian Brown

The internet is now a key part of everyday life across the developed world, and growing rapidly across developing countries. This Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the latest research on internet governance, written by the leading scholars in the field.
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Chapter 16: The new intermediation: contract, identity, and the future of internet governance

Andrea Matwyshyn


From early in the existence of the internet, users’ interactions have been mediated by third parties – intermediaries. But, just as internet content has evolved over time, so too has the role of intermediaries. Three trends in intermediation in particular are impacting the future of internet governance: invisibility, blended virtual-real space intermediation, and digital identity intermediation. The future of internet governance depends in part on recognizing these trends and generating a consensus on fairness in intermediary commercial conduct. In particular, we must consider the role of contract law as a tool of governance and user identity intermediation.

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