Marcelo Thompson

 Marcelo Thompson

Marcelo Thompson was a DPhil candidate at the OII, working in the interplay between technology law and political theory. His thesis situated the legal problem of technological neutrality within the neutrality-perfectionism debate in politics.


Prior to joining the OII, Marcelo read for a Master of Laws (Law and Technology) at the University of Ottawa, after working for a number of years as a government official Brazil, focusing on the regulation of technological affairs. From the OII Marcelo decided to venture slightly more afar, taking up an academic position (and a populous family) in Hong Kong. Marcelo's core research interests lie in the intersection between law, political theory and the study of technological change. He is particularly interested in what the entrenchment of new forms of normativity in the design of the information environment means for the life of law and politics in the 21st century.

Research interests

Internet governance and regulation, jurisprudence and political theory, personal identity and authentication, privacy and data protection, copyright and access to knowledge, Brazilian law

Positions held at the OII

  • DPhil Alumnus, May 2013 -
  • DPhil student, October 2006 - May 2013


Working papers


Thompson, M. (2013) Evaluating Neutrality in the Information Age: On the Value of Persons and Access. DPhil Thesis, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.



  • Studying at the Oxford Internet Institute

    Studying at the Oxford Internet Institute

    Recorded on: 27 October 2008 Duration: 00:09:13

    Thinking about applying for our DPhil or MSc courses? Want to know more about what it's like to study at the OII? In this ten minute video, faculty and students talk about the OII's DPhil and MSc programmes.


  • The Principle of Technological Neutrality, East and West

    Marcelo Thompson on 30 Nov 2012 14:39PM

    In “The Neutralization of Harmony: The Problem of Technological Neutrality, East and West” (forthcoming in the Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law), I question the very idea of neutrality in technology law and politics. The [...]

  • On the Arrest of Google’s Head in Brazil

    Marcelo Thompson on 27 Sep 2012 11:37AM

    As you may know by now, Mr Fabio Coelho, the head of Google Brazil, has been arrested in connection with Google’s Youtube service in Brazil. The reason of the arrest was not Google’s conscious and deliberate hosting of content that infringes [...]

  • Privacy Piracy in Brazil: 10-day Countdown

    Marcelo Thompson on 28 Jul 2012 21:01PM

    Brazil has just founded its branch of the Pirate Party, in the presence of Pirate King, Rick Falkvinge, himself. The Pirate Party carries the flag of the protection of civil liberties on the Internet, of the promotion of balanced copyright laws and, as [...]

  • Razoabilidade na Rede: além da neutralidade

    Marcelo Thompson on 28 Apr 2012 04:29AM

    Nota para auxiliar no debate sobre a neutralidade da rede no contexto do Marco Civil da Internet no Brasil (PL No. 2126 de 2011). Neste momento em que pensamos em adotar uma Constituição para a Internet no Brasil, não devemos nela inserir princípio [...]

  • “Google and the Law”

    Marcelo Thompson on 10 Mar 2012 09:34AM

    The book ‘Google and the Law’ (T.M.C. Asser Press) is out, bringing a chapter I had posted earlier to this Blog as a working paper. The book as a whole is an extremely timely and comprehensive contribution and I look forward to reading the [...]

  • Justice and Technicity

    Marcelo Thompson on 14 Dec 2011 11:00AM

    Two paragraphs, your conclusions. Jacques Ellul, 1964, The Technological Society:  Justice is no longer conceived of as a practical requirement vis-à-vis individual problems, but rather as a mere idea, an abstract notion. Then it becomes simple to discard [...]

  • Search as “Procuring Access”

    Marcelo Thompson on 7 Nov 2011 16:42PM

    This week, Eric Schmidt told the U.S. Senate Antitrust Subcommittee that Google does not have “separate products and services”, that all of its offerings can be classified under the banner of “universal search”. Schmidt is [...]

  • In Search of Alterity: On Google, Neutrality, and Otherness

    Marcelo Thompson on 3 Oct 2011 14:24PM

    I have just made available @SSRN two of my forthcoming papers. “In Search of Alterity” inquires into that which has been the archetypal voice in network neutrality discourses: Google’s. In doing so, the paper reveals as much about Google’s [...]

  • Copyright, Human Rights and Access to Knowledge

    Marcelo Thompson on 21 Dec 2010 08:17AM

    The University of Ottawa Law and Technology Journal has published online my “Property Enforcement or Retrogressive Measure? Copyright Reform in Canada and the Human Right of Access to Knowledge”, which I wrote a number of years ago. You can [...]

  • The Sheriff of ‘Not-the-Internet’: Reflections on Comcast v. FCC

    Marcelo Thompson on 26 Nov 2010 04:14AM

    I have just published a piece (earlier draft on SSRN) with a critical analysis of the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed short cut (the so-called “Third Way”) to deal with the outcome of the Comcast case. The article comes in [...]

  • The Insensitive Internet – Brazil and the Judicialization of Pain

    Marcelo Thompson on 22 May 2010 17:42PM

    The proposal of a Civil [Rights-Based] Framework for the Internet in Brazil invites serious scrutiny by the Global Community due to its cross-jurisdictional repercussions (some very positive; some urgently negative). The most emergent provision is that [...]

  • Awesomeness: Google in Search of a Value

    Marcelo Thompson on 21 Jan 2010 17:52PM

    Awesomeness: Google in Search of a Value MARCELO THOMPSON* Google’s glove slap in the mainland reflects an ambiguity which is not atypical among Internet policies it normally champions. What has really prompted the Internet giant’s threat to move its [...]

  • Network Singularity: Legal Pluralism Under Siege

    Marcelo Thompson on 2 Oct 2009 08:30AM

    Law Tech Talk | Law and Technology Centre Mr. Marcelo Thompson, Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong Abstract: When the United States Federal Communications Commission released its Memorandum Opinion and Order on the Comcast case last year, [...]

  • Technological Singularity and Technological Neutrality

    Marcelo Thompson on 22 Feb 2009 15:37PM

    So, here goes a Sci-Fi thought (or perhaps not quite). If singularity theories turn out to be right, what to make of a principle of technological neutrality (in law and politics)? Even if we assume the internal coherence of such a principle. Even if we [...]

  • Chasing the Flame in a Networked World: Notes on Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s 2008 Oxford Lecture

    Marcelo Thompson on 19 Feb 2009 16:02PM

    Download in PDF Below you will find some notes I wrote last month upon request of the British Council, on the occasion of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Annual Lecure, given by Professor Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Former President of Brazil. A webcast of the [...]

  • Brazilian Government Formalizes its Intention to Adopt ODF

    Marcelo Thompson on 28 Aug 2008 21:34PM

    Some very significant bodies of the Brazilian Government and government-owned corporations have just signed an agreement to adopt Open Document Format as their standard format for the exchange of electronic documents. While the agreement merely conveys [...]

  • So Secure Hyderabad: the Demise of a Rights-Based Discourse in the IGF?

    Marcelo Thompson on 22 Aug 2008 13:51PM

    Many think of the Internet Governance Forum as being nothing but a multi-stakeholders monumental talk shop. Even if so, that would not be so hopeless for an area in which customs play a decisive role; an area to whose build-up the showcase of state [...]

  • Charlatans, FLOSS, and the Brazilian Supreme Court

    Marcelo Thompson on 21 Aug 2008 20:53PM

    Brazilian Sunday TV news program “Fantástico” showed in its last edition that a gang of supposed fraudsters would be offering their services to Brazilian politicians. The services in question would involve the manipulation of electronic voting systems to [...]

  • MrModchips and the Maze

    Marcelo Thompson on 24 Jun 2008 14:37PM

    My last post discussed the vagueness-precision dichotomy in light of Canadian copyright reform. Ironically, the matter resurfaces today, now in the UK. IPKat brings news on the Higgs case, in which Neil Higgs, also known as “MrModchips“, [...]

  • The Place of Neutrality in the Canadian Copyright Maze

    Marcelo Thompson on 22 Jun 2008 23:32PM

    Osgoode Hall Prof Pina D’Agostino has published a sensible column on Bill C-61 in the Toronto Star. Much unlike Bill C-61, her message was clear — we need to police our tone to offer a sober academic perspective on Canadian copyright reform [...]