Goliath vs Leviathan: How Big Tech is Challenging the State and the Rule of Law
The so-called Big Tech companies went from being regarded as liberation technologies to digital gangsters, due to a succession of scandals and controversies of various kinds, many relating to key democratic issues. This project focuses on the challenges imposed by these companies to the democratic rule of law and the dynamics they create. On the one hand, these Tech Goliaths threaten fundamental democratic values, such as freedom of expression or free elections, and the enforcement of national laws. On the other hand, they are imitating the organization of the states and the rule of law to gain public legitimacy and avoid external regulation. The objectives of the project are twofold. First, it systematizes and analyzes these challenges in-depth and frame them into the larger perspective of the rule of law. In the second part, it explores how, being aware of the need to regulate themselves, Big Tech companies are emulating those same institutions and trying to create their own proto, yet imperfect rule of law. By framing these challenges and dynamics, under the angle of the rule of law, this project aims at contributing to two debates - on democracy and on digital regulation.