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How the Internet Is Controlled Policy implications and the technical basis of the networked society.

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Presentation on theme: "How the Internet Is Controlled Policy implications and the technical basis of the networked society."— Presentation transcript:

1 How the Internet Is Controlled Policy implications and the technical basis of the networked society

2 Structure of the Lecture Some introductory thoughts Regulating the Global Information Society Medium law – the new Internet regulation Realpolitik: US Control of the Internet The United Nations and the Internet Developing some principles for regulation

3 European Regulation of the Information Society How do we achieve a safe, multicultural Internet?

4 BUT there is a serious problem Terrorism and incitement to racial and religious hatred are rife online Many Internet users have poor media literacy Should we tolerate such views on the Internet when we do not in the street?

5 How do we police the Internet? Are the police competent? Are they too targeted? Do they have too much power?

6 Taking liberties online? Should police register all our surfing? Should we all be identified?


8 Principles of Media Law Internet: a global medium of media Should we now talk of medium law? Media previously nationally regulated Satellite TV broke the state monopoly Murdoch: Ringmaster of the Information Circus – Shawcross Internet was DARPANet is statelessness a libertarian fantasy? Is the state coming back in?

9 Media Co-Regulation Freedom of expression is a constitutional principle BUT the different media Video, radio, printed press, film, gaming Are evolving onto one MEDIUM The Medium of Media Internet digital, ubiquitous, always-on

10 Legal Fiction If its illegal offline, its illegal on-line OR we can all be multinationals, routinely living in multiple jurisdictions Which is right?

11 Current Policy Created Late 1990s ISP liability DMCA 1998; EC Copyright Directives Telecoms regulation 1996 Telecoms Act as implemented by FCC and courts; 1997 Convergence Green paper led to 2002 E-comms Package E-commerce regulation Directive EC/2000/31 formulated Trustmarks and SSL – TrustE and others Privacy regulation Directive EC/95/46 Safe Harbor (sic) agreement 2000 and 2002 E-Privacy Directive Content self-regulation Hotlines (IWF 1996) and Codes of Conduct (Safer Internet Action Plan 1997)

12 Taking Self-Regulation Seriously? Implementation of Directives patchy Widespread reporting of abuses e.g. privacy Implementation of self-regulation scratchy Widespread view of Potemkin bodies with no substance behind the glossy websites Wide consumer adoption of broadband Digital Divide remains; mobile and wireless prospects Ubiquitous connectivity for digitally enabled Content creation and sharing Creative Commons, Peer-to-peer, rip mix burn, mashing

13 Zoe Baird/Stefaan Verhulst (2002 November) Governing the Internet: Engaging Government, Business, and Nonprofits, Foreign Affairs The rapid growth of the Internet has led to a worldwide crisis of governance. In the early years of Internet development, the prevailing view was that government should stay out of Internet governance; market forces and self- regulation would suffice to create order and enforce standards of behavior. But this view has proven inadequate as the Internet has become mainstream.

14 Multistakeholderisation Industry/government paradigm of 1990s Supplemented by academic/geek experts Rough consensus and running code cliché 2000s NGOs join policy-making Civil society illegitimate and unaccountable Claimed to be dynamic – but outside UN agencies? Note progress at IGF and WIPO, as well as UNESCO Is it McBride mark II? Is this a new paradigm or an activist phase? Whats new about it? Bits of Freedom/EDRI Electronic Frontier Foundation Chaos Computer Club

15 IGOs – Intergovernmental Organisations ITU – telephony UNESCO – culture WIPO – intellectual property WTO – trade UNDP – development BUT NGOs and civil society– W3C, IETF, IAB, ISOC, ICANN





20 Internet Governance Forum United Nations Secretary General Met in Athens in 2006: Rio next month To discuss spam and: capacity building Digital Divide Multicultural Internet


22 Does Web2.0 need Regulation 2.0? Two alternative futures (and the present) 1. Do nothing – rely on 1990s settlement 2. Co-regulation – enforced self-regulation 3. User-generated regulation 1. Abuse buttons for stalking/inappropriate 2. Rating by users – by self and others 3. New forms of netiquette 4. Dynamic feedback to site owners 5. BUT does it need legislative pressure/surveillance?

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