The Closing of the Net
The Closing of the Net

This inspirational book provides the backstory to current attempts by states and corporations to control the Internet. It explains key issues such as privacy, net neutrality and copyright in a way that is accessible to non-experts, as well as providing a clear, authoritative context for academic study.

<i>The Closing of the Net</i> explains:
•Why apps are never 'free', and how data profiling got into politics
•How the entertainment industries went head-to-head with Internet companies over online copyright
•Why we got the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and why Europe has stronger privacy laws than the US
•How post-Snowden surveillance politics is embedded in data retention law
•Why net neutrality matters
•How cloud service Megaupload was brought down

Monica Horten’s compelling account of these issues concludes with an outline of the risks we face in the future if monitoring and blocking of the Internet becomes the norm. And the results are chilling. This book is a must-read for all followers of cyber-policy, and is suitable for courses addressing digital media and society, communications policy, Internet and copyright law.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • May 2016
  • 200 pages
  • 155 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $67.50
  • 9781509506880
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509506897
Table of Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • 1 Power and the Internet
  • 2 Private Lives, Public Policy
  • 3 The PRISM Agenda
  • 4 Surveillance Liabilities
  • 5 Not Neutrality Under Pressure
  • 6 Filtering Policy
  • 7 The Cooperation Agenda
  • 8 Blocking Judgements
  • 9 A Dark Cloud
  • 10 Closing Pressures
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
About the Author

Monica Horten (PhD, University of Westminster; DipM, Chartered Institute of Marketing) is a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics, and a Council of Europe expert, where she served for two years on the Committee of Experts on Internet Freedom. She has participated in drafting of standards-setting instruments, and in capacity-building projects for Internet and human rights in the post-Soviet states. She has presented her academic research in the European Parliament. Her blog,, has been influential in informing EU policy-making, notably the 2009 EU Telecoms Package. She was the only female writer in the Journal of Cyber Policy’s 2016 Top 10 Must-Reads.

Show More


"Today's communications fabric relies on a layered connective space (the Internet). The corporate power that underwrites that space generates an unprecedented power problem for democracy. Monica Horten's sharply written book confronts that problem head-on, with striking case studies. Who really benefits from the "fingertap of desire" that drives our device use? Read this illuminating book to find out."
Nick Couldry, London School of Economics and Political Science

"Monica Horten writes about human beings' greatest invention – the Internet – and the emerging political and social trends that may cloud its future. Few thinkers could paint such a compelling, unified picture of the political forces across net neutrality, privacy, and mass surveillance – it is politics, not technology, that will most determine the Internet that our children inherit."
Marvin Ammori, Affiliate Scholar at Stanford Law School, Center for Internet and Society

"a book well worth reading ... both original and valuable"
Times Higher Education

"Future histories of information technology may record that the 'open' Internet proved but a transitory phase, and that those old enough to remember taking it for granted recall a golden era when views and ideas could be freely expressed online; for though we might still be able to express ourselves on tomorrow's Internet, 'The Closing of the Net' warns, it may not be for free."

"Considering the scope and breadth of the research and the clarity of the corresponding analysis, this book would be extremely helpful to those working in the fields of politics, law, media and technology as well as being a general interest text. It is an extremely relevant and timely addition to the growing body of cyber-related literature that I do not hesitate to recommend."
LSE Book Review

"Many books are insightful. The author has a vision, or an interpretation, or a prediction to make. These books all show insight, used by their writers to express a unique viewpoint. Rarer than all is a book which offers its readers insight; where the author does not simply demonstrate their own understanding, but allows the reader to gain new understanding of their own. Chapter by chapter, The Closing of the Netpaints an intricate picture of the politics and law of data privacy in Europe and beyond. Monica Horten’s understanding of internet politics is succinct and incisive, making this just such a book."
It Security

"Meticulously well-researched and thoughtfully written, the book takes the pulse of the open web. ... a must-read for any lawyer studying the legislation that internet politics produces."
Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

"This book leads the reader to understand the intricate net of lobbying underpinning core Internet policy issues such as government surveillance, net neutrality, online piracy or the TTIP agreement."
Journal of Cyber Policy (2016)
Show More