The emergence of new technology has repeatedly appeared unique to those living through the resulting changes. The digital revolution of the decades around the year 2000 has generated unprecedented claims of exceptionalism, with particular regard to the potentially redemptive or destructive power of the digital. New technologies of communication have the obvious potential to transform the conduct of democratic society, but it is far from obvious how to assess the nature of this transformation as well as its implications. This project seeks to investigate such claims through a set of historical comparisons and contextualisations which will pose the question of whether – and in which ways – we have been here before. Its aim will be to provide a set of tools for thinking critically and constructively about the impact of the digital revolution on democracy.


Dr Nora Ni Loideain is a Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Technology and Democracy Project at CRASSH. Her doctoral research at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law examined the impact of the right to privacy on the EU Data Retention Directive which mandated the mass retention of EU citizens’ communications metadata for national security and law enforcement purposes. Previously, she was a Legal and Policy Officer for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions of Ireland and clerked for the Irish Supreme Court. Her research interests focus on governance, human rights and technology, particularly in the fields of digital privacy, data protection and state surveillance. 

Nora is also an Affiliated Lecturer at the Cambridge Faculty of Law, a Visiting Lecturer for the LL.M. Privacy and Information Law module at King’s College London and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Johannesburg's Faculty of Humanities. 



Technology and Democracy Project, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, Written evidence to Public Committee on revised Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB64) (published 14 April 2016)

“The End of Safe Harbour: Implications for EU Digital Privacy and Data Protection Law” (2016) 19(8) Journal of Internet Law 1

Report of Ad Hoc Working Group on Investigatory Powers Bill, Findings Published in Joint Committee Report on Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (HL Paper 93) (published 11 February 2016)  


Technology and Democracy Project, CRASSH, University of Cambridge, Written Evidence to Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (published 10 December 2015)

“EU Law and Mass Internet Metadata Surveillance in the post-Snowden era” (2015) 3(2) Media and Communications – Special Issue on Surveillance: Critical Analysis and Current Challenges 53

“The UK Investigatory Powers Bill – one step forward, two steps back” (Online article) Open Democracy, 17 November 2015


“Surveillance of Communications Data and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights” in S. Gutwirth, R. Leenes, P. De Hert and Y. Poullet, (eds.), Reloading Data Protection (Dordrecht: Springer, 2014)

“Is the EU really about to outlaw mass metadata surveillance?” (Online article) Wired Magazine, 28 April 2014

Review of S.B. Wicker, Cellular Convergence and the Death of Privacy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) (2014) 4(3) International Data Privacy Law 243


“The Draft EU Data Protection Package: A history of the EU's privacy reform efforts and a look forward to the finish line” (Online article) International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), 5 December 2013     


Review of C.T. Marsden, Internet Co-Regulation: European Law, Regulatory Governance and Legitimacy in Cyberspace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011) (2012) 71(2) Cambridge Law Journal 457

“Assessing the Evaluation of the EC Data Retention Directive”, in C.M. Akrivopoulou and N. Garipidis, (eds.), Human Rights and Risks in the Digital Era (Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2012)


“Implications of the EC Data Retention Directive for Data Protection and Privacy”, in C. M. Akrivopoulou and A. Psygkas, (eds.), Personal Data Privacy and Protection in a Surveillance Era: Technologies and Practices (Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2011)


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