Human Rights in the Information Society: Utopias, Dystopias and Human Values

  • Giovanni Sartor


I shall discuss the relevance of human rights for the development information society. First I shall shortly introduce the opportunities and dangers pertaining to the information society, also referring to some famous science fiction works. I shall argue that human rights may provide some guidance for addressing such opportunities and dangers. I shall then consider how different human rights are involved in the social deployment of information technologies, and the connections between such rights. Finally, I shall provide some considerations on what approach to humans right may be more useful for promoting human values in the information society.


Open Source Software Information Society Digital Content Science Fiction Concerned Individual 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alexy, R. 2002. A theory of constitutional rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Asimov, I. 1985. Robots and empire. London: Collins.Google Scholar
  3. Asimov, I. [1986] 1996. Foundation and earth. London: Harper-Collins.Google Scholar
  4. Benkler, Y. 2006. The wealth of networks: How social production transforms markets and freedoms. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Benkler, Y., and H. Nissenbaum. 2006. Commons-based peer production and virtue. Journal of Political Philosophy 14: 394–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bradbury, R. [1954] 1996. Farenheit 451. London: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  7. Capek, K. 2004. R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  8. Castells, M. 2000. The rise of the network society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Clark, A., and D.J. Chalmers. 1998. The extended mind. Analysis 58: 10–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dick, P.K. 2002a. Second variety. In Minority report, ed. P.K. Dick, 61–101. London: Gollancz.Google Scholar
  11. Dick, P. K. [1966] 2002b. We can remember it for you wholesale. In Minority report, ed. P.K. Dick, 267–290. London: Gollancz.Google Scholar
  12. Habermas, J. [1992] 1999. Between facts and norms. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  13. Hegel, G.W.F. 1931. The phenomenology of mind. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  14. Houellebecq, M. 2006. The possibility of an Island. London: Phoenix.Google Scholar
  15. Huxley, A. [1932] 1994. Brave new world. London: Flamingo.Google Scholar
  16. Joergensen, R.F. (ed.). 2006. Human rights in the global information society. Cambridge: MIT.Google Scholar
  17. Kafka, F. [1925] 2007. The trial. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  18. Klang, M., and A. Murray (eds.). 2005. Human rights in the digital age. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Lessig, L. 2008. Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  20. Nozick, R. 1974. Anarchy, state and utopia. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  21. O’Reilly, T., and J. Battelle. 2009. Web squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On. Available at
  22. Orwell, G. [1949] 2004. Nineteen eighty-four. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  23. Popper, K.R. [1934] 1959. The logic of scientific discovery. London: HutchinsonGoogle Scholar
  24. Sartor, G. 2010. Doing justice to rights and values: Teleological reasoning and proportionality. Artificial Intelligence and Law 18: 175–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sen, A. 2004. Elements of a theory of human rights. Philosophy and Public Affairs 32: 315–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Solove, D.J. 2008. I’ve got nothing to hide” and other misunderstandings of privacy. San Diego Law Review 44: 745–772.Google Scholar
  27. Sunstein, C.R. 2001. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Vonnegut, K. 1952. Player piano. New York: Charles Scibner’s Sons.Google Scholar
  29. Wertenbaker, G.P. 1929. The chamber of life. in Amazing Stories. Available at
  30. Zittrain, J. 1994. The generative internet. Harvard Law Review 119: 1974–2006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations