A Social Contract for Cyberspace

Abstract:

A social contract is about the rights and responsibilities among the members of the society on one hand and the state and government on the other. Cyberspace, by serving as a unique global platform for the connection and communication of its billions of users, creates its own social structure and thereby forms a new regulatory ecosystem. The societal reform that is facilitated by cyberspace challenges the traditional understanding of rights and responsibilities that shape social contract theory. The disinformation campaigns, the spread of hate speech, and the emergence of systemic algorithmic discrimination are examples that illustrate the need for new rules and social agreements between all stakeholders. This research aims to manifest the necessity of a social contract for the digital era. The study will first review the social contract theory and in particular, the classic works of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau and then specify the challenges that the state, the corporate sector and civil society face. The study concludes that the construction of a social contract between governments, citizens and companies, is still in its early phase. The enforcement of greater transparency, the implementation of new market regulations and above all the building of trust will enable the emergence of a new social contract.


AUTHORS

Photo of Dr.  Andrew  Liaropoulos

Department of International and European Studies University of Piraeus, Piraeus
Greece

Dr. Andrew N. Liaropoulos is Assistant Professor at the University of Piraeus, Greece, in the Department of International and European Studies. He also teaches in the Joint Military Intelligence College, the National Security College, and the Air Staff Command College. He earned his master’s degree in Intelligence and Strategic Studies at Aberystwyth University and his doctorate at Swansea University. His research interests include international security, intelligence reform, strategy, foreign policy analysis, European security policy, cyber security, and Greek security policy.

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Keywords

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

D

DNS
DoD
DoS

I

IA
ICS

S

SOA

X

XRY

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