Regulating Cyberspace: The Policies and Technologies of Control

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - Political Science - 246 pages

This visionary book presents an interdisciplinary and cogent approach to the issue of Internet governance and control. By examining five critical areas in which the tension between freedom and control is most palpable--fair competition and open access, free expression, intellectual property, privacy rights, and security--Spinello guides the reader on a tour of the emerging body of law and public policy that has attempted to control the anarchy of cyberspace. In so doing, he defends the credo of Internet self-regulation, asserting that the same powerful and flexible architectures that created the Internet as we know it today can be relied upon to aid the private sector in arriving at a workable, decentralized regulatory regime. Except in certain circumstances that require government involvement, self-regulation is not only viable but is a highly preferred alternative to the forced uniformity that centralized structures tend to impose.

Beginning with an exploration of the Internet's most important values, including universality, free expression, and open access, as well as its promise as a democratizing force, Spinello considers how we can most effectively preserve those values and fulfill that promise while curtailing the social harms that vex Internet users. How do we arrive at the right mixture of technology and policy so that the Internet does not lose its promise as a liberating technology? In examining this question, Spinello evaluates such architectures of control as filters and rights management protocols, which attempt to keep out unwanted information and protect intellectual property, respectively. He explores how these and other technologies can be designed and used responsibly so that online social order can be sustained with a minimal amount of government intervention.


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Global Connectivity and Internet Access
Creating and Regulating the Internet
Decentralizing Regulation
Electronic Commerce and the Network Economy
Competition and Antitrust Issues in Cyberspace
Freedom of Expression and Content Controls
Intellectual Property Wars and Knowledge Monopolies
Privacy Rights and the Internet
Cybercrime Encryption and Government Surveillance

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About the author (2002)

RICHARD A. SPINELLO is Associate Research Professor at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. Prior to joining the faculty of Boston College, he worked as a programmer, consultant, and marketing manager in the software industry. He has written and edited four books on computer-related ethics as well as numerous articles and scholarly papers on ethics and management.

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