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David Post has given us an enlightening map to navigate the new frontiers of cyberspace and cyberlaw. He brings Jefferson into the story in the hope that TJ's profound thinking on the issues of his time might help us getter a better handle on the cyber-controversies of our own time. After all, Jefferson was a man who spent much of his life thinking about uncharted subjects and frontiers. And law, of course!
Using this approach to help us explore cyberspace and cyberlaw works quite well in many cases. It works particularly well when Post brings TJ's leading intellectual nemesis into the drama -- Alexander Hamilton. "Their feud the longest-running in American political history," Post correctly notes, "for they stood on opposite shores of the great intellectual divide, a divide that encapsulates something fundamental in the way we think about society and government." Jefferson desired liberty above all else; Hamilton stressed order and authority. Whereas Jefferson trusted decentralization and wanted diffuse communities making political decisions, Hamilton looked to a strong central authority to guide the nation.
Many modern cyberspace disputes, Post suggests, can be viewed through this same Jeffersonian vs. Hamiltonian philosophical dichotomy. As Post shows, our Founding Fathers still have much to teach us.
My complete review of Post's book is here: http://techliberation.com/2009/01/22/book-review-posts-jeffersons-moose-the-state-of-cybersapce/