From the Invisible Hand to the Invisible Handshake

Via Frank Pasquale at IDC:

The Invisible Handshake is an important essay by Michael D. Birnhack’s and Niva Elkin-Koren which describes new and hidden exchanges of information for power that are key to government-business relations:

“Law enforcement agencies seek to enhance their monitoring capacity and online businesses seek to prevent fraud and combat piracy while strengthening their ties with authorities. . . . The invisible hand [of market-based communications] turned out to be very useful for the State, and it is now being replaced with a handshake, which, likewise, is invisible. . . . The use of private parties for executing government roles may create an unholy alliance between governments that wish to exercise their power and large online players that seek to maintain and strengthen their dominant role in the market.”

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