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School of Law

Sara Nogueira Silva


PhD Student



Thesis title

Relative Anonymity and "My Search and Research", Two Competing Autonomies in Cyberspace.


Professor Christopher Reed and Mr Gavin Sutter

Summary of research

Sara's research is focused on autonomy in cyberspace with particular emphasis on anonymity and on what she calls "my search and research". Sara argues that major internet companies are becoming aware of the interests and expectations at stake and of how autonomy is relevant in cyberspace. Individuals want choice regarding how much is shared about them, on one hand, and freedom to find information, on the other. Sara's interdisciplinary interests brought into her research, among others, Hegel's “theory of the notion”, from which she developed a new concept of anonymity in cyberspace. 


Sara is a Portuguese qualified lawyer. Her law degree was awarded by the prestigious Portuguese Catholic University. Before moving to London, Sara worked for many years as a Corporate Lawyer in Portugal. Sara came to London to read her LLM in International Commercial Law at Queen Mary University. After that, Sara decided to work in-depth in the cyberspace field, anticipating the challenges that individual autonomy would encounter in the “online world”. Among others, Sara participated in the Microsoft Cloud Computing Legal Project, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Cambridge Computer Lab. focusing on autonomy and machine-learning decision making. Sara is currently on the final stage of her PhD at Queen Mary University, where she is also a Postgraduate Teaching Associate.  Alongside her passion for law, her interests include philosophy, history and science, topics on which she frequently leverages for her research work.


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