Cloud Policy: A History of Regulating Pipelines, Platforms, and Data (Distribution Matters) (Paperback)

Cloud Policy: A History of Regulating Pipelines, Platforms, and Data (Distribution Matters) By Jennifer Holt Cover Image

Cloud Policy: A History of Regulating Pipelines, Platforms, and Data (Distribution Matters) (Paperback)


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How the United States’ regulation of broadband pipelines, digital platforms, and data—together understood as “the cloud”—has eroded civil liberties, democratic principles, and the foundation of the public interest over the past century.

Cloud Policy is a policy history that chronicles how the past century of regulating media infrastructure in the U.S. has eroded global civil liberties as well as democratic principles and the foundation of the public interest. Jennifer Holt explores the long arc of regulating broadband pipelines, digital platforms, and the data centers that serve as the cloud’s storage facilities—an evolution that is connected to the development of nineteenth- and twentieth-century media and networks, including railroads, highways, telephony, radio, and television. In the process, Cloud Policy unearths the lasting inscriptions of policy written for an analog era and markets that no longer exist on the contemporary governance of digital cloud infrastructure.

Cloud Policy brings together numerous perspectives that have thus far remained largely siloed in their respective fields of law, policy, economics, and media studies. The resulting interdisciplinary argument reveals a properly scaled view of the massive challenge facing policymakers today. Holt also addresses the evolving role of the state in the regulation of global cloud infrastructure, and the growing influence of corporate gatekeepers and private sector self-governance. Cloud policy’s trajectory, as Holt explains, has enacted a transformation in the cultural valuation of infrastructure as civic good, turning it into a tool of commercial profit generation. Despite these current predicaments, the book’s historical lens ultimately helps the reader to envision restorative interventions and new forms of activism to create a more equitable future for infrastructure policy.
Jennifer Holt is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a former Fellow with the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Empires of Entertainment and the coeditor of the SAGE Handbook of the Digital Media Economy.
Product Details ISBN: 9780262548069
ISBN-10: 0262548062
Publisher: The MIT Press
Publication Date: September 17th, 2024
Pages: 334
Language: English
Series: Distribution Matters