Will We Be Ever Able To Go Off-grid Again? And Other Questions about the Electronic Silk Road

Deven Desai

Deven Desai is an associate professor of law and ethics at the Scheller College of Business, Georgia Institute of Technology. He was also the first, and to date, only Academic Research Counsel at Google, Inc., and a Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the Yale Law School. Professor Desai’s scholarship examines how business interests, new technology, and economic theories shape privacy and intellectual property law and where those arguments explain productivity or where they fail to capture society’s interest in the free flow of information and development. His work has appeared in leading law reviews and journals including the Georgetown Law Journal, Minnesota Law Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, and U.C. Davis Law Review.

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3 Responses

  1. Adele says:

    Interesting post, Deven; I have been curious about the implications of a growing electronic Silk Road with all the talk about it as of late. On the surface, greater global connectivity seems very beneficial to people as a whole. New trading opportunities and dialogue between different people becomes much more available to those with access to the tech needed. But your idea of an “inescapable” grid also poses an issue for those that may abuse or misunderstand the use of digital technology and information. Though you can’t actually pick up and move off the grid, I feel the silk road will offer solutions in itself to help “hide” those that want/need it. Either by erasing your presence or burying it in massive amounts of information that make it neigh impossible to find, I think services will pop up in the digital world that will monetize this need. I’m sure there are already examples of this budding today, though I don’t know of any.
    If possible, would you mind explaining further the idea of spying to be a good thing? I think I am getting the basic concept, but I would like to make sure.

  2. Deven Desai says:

    Quick answer, the spying on each other suggests a less than cozy world. The friction may mean that the chance for all to agree let’s spy together on citizens is low. One possible outcome may be a behind the scenes swap of information about citizens in exchange for not spying on government folks. That would be the sort of coordination I’d distrust and not be happy to see.

  3. CraigM. says:

    I guess it’s nice having the off grid. No more, no less. that’s all