Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2008 - Computers - 224 pages
14 Reviews
Is the Internet erasing national borders? Who's really in control of what's happening on the Net--Internet engineers, rogue programmers, the United Nations, or powerful countries?
In this provocative new book, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu tell the fascinating story of the Internet's challenge to governmental rule in the 1990s, and the ensuing battles with governments around the world. It's a book about the fate of one idea--that the Internet might liberate us forever from government, borders, and even our physical selves. We learn of Google's struggles with the French government and Yahoo's capitulation to the Chinese regime; of how the European Union sets privacy standards on the Net for the entire world; and of eBay's struggles with fraud and how it slowly learned to trust the FBI. In a decade of events, the original vision was uprooted, as governments time and time again asserted their power to direct the future of the Internet. The destiny of the Internet over the next decades, argue Goldsmith and Wu, will reflect the interests of powerful nations and the conflicts within and between them.
Well written and filled with fascinating examples, this is a work that is bound to stir heated debate in the cyberspace community.

"A timely look at the ways that governments make themselves felt in cyberspace. Goldsmith and Wu cover a range of controversies, from domain-name disputes to online poker and porn to political censorship. Their judgments are well worth attending."
--David Robinson,Wall Street Journal

"In the 1990s the Internet was greeted as the New New Thing: It would erase national borders, give rise to communal societies that invented their own rules, undermine the power of governments. In this splendidly argued book, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu explain why these early assumptions were mostly wrong. By turns provocative and colorful...an essential read."
--Sebastian Mallaby, Editorial Writer and Columnist,The Washington Post

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World

User Review  - Andreas Triantopoulos - Goodreads

A very interesting view about the Web Read full review

Review: Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World

User Review  - Bojan Land - Goodreads

Aside from one and a half boring chapters about law, all else was amazing. Tells the story of how we got to today's Internet, incorporating hard learned lessons from China, Yahoo, and Australia. Loved the bit about taking over the root servers. Fascinating!!! Read full review

All 7 reviews »

About the author (2008)

Jack Goldsmith is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and author most recently of The Limits of International Law. He was formerly Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice, and special counsel to the General Counsel of the Department of Defense. Tim Wu is Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and previously worked in the Internet telecommunications industry in Silicon Valley.

Bibliographic information