Digital Democracy: Policy and Politics in the Wired World


237 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-19-541359-8
DDC 320




Edited by Cynthia J. Alexander and Leslie A. Pal
Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeffrey Moon is head of the Documents Reference/Data Centre at Queen’s


The 12 essays that make up Digital Democracy explore the rapidly
evolving interaction between cyberspace and social policy—and, more
specifically, such issues as teledemocracy, privacy, pornography, women,
indigenous peoples, and health care.

Two chapters tackle different aspects of the privacy issue. The first
of these chapters focuses on existing and proposed legislative
frameworks designed to protect information privacy/property and stresses
the need for more clarity and originality in developing privacy laws and
policies. The second chapter looks at privacy-enhancing technologies. In
this chapter, the message is less clear, perhaps because it is less
understood. For example, the negative attitude expressed toward
“identification numbers” seems to contradict the positive view of
such encryption technologies as “public key encryption” (just
another form of identification number).

Given the pace of technological change, the book cannot help but be
somewhat out of date. Many of the URLs cited are now dead links. And
there is no index. Despite these shortcomings, Digital Democracy brings
together a wide range of issues that are well worth investigating.


“Digital Democracy: Policy and Politics in the Wired World,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed March 1, 2024,