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A Borderless World: Realizing the Potential for Global Electronic Commerce

General Perspectives

It seems that at a general level, most people's perspectives on Internet regulation can be categorized according to three views: existing means of regulation are fine, existing means of regulation are not fine and we should find other means of regulation, or, it doesn't matter who or how someone regulates, there shouldn't be any regulation at all.

I. Existing Laws and/or Lawmaking Systems are Sufficient
II. Existing Laws and Methods of Lawmaking are Inadequate; New Models Must be Developed
III. No Regulation, Leave it alone


Existing Laws and/or Lawmaking Systems are Sufficient

Donald T. Stepka, Obscenity On-Line: a Transactional Approach to Computer Transfers of Potentially Obscene Material, Note http://www.law.cornell.edu/clr/905.html (visited 3/5/98) (concluding that existing law is adequate for deciding the usual on-line obscenity cases).

Dee Pridgen, How Will Consumers Be Protected On The Information Superhighway?, 32 Land & Water L. Rev. 237, 247 (1997) (because there is no legal obstacle to the application of existing consumer protection laws in cyberspace, at least to the category of "domestic" cyberspace transactions, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general could readily reach out to regulate domestic commercial transactions).

Cass R. Sunstein, Constitutional Caution, 1996 U. Chi. Legal F. 361 (1996) (Although constitutional lawyers should be cautious, there is still a role for them. "[i]n [] period[s] of rapid change and technological uncertainty, in which those schooled in law are likely to be ignorant, there is much room for tentative, narrow judgments.")

Dennis W. Moore Jr., Regulation of the Internet and Internet Telephony Through the Imposition of Access Charges, 76 Tex. L. Rev. 183 (1997) (existing laws and regulations are sufficient; no new regulations).

William S. Byassee,  Jurisdiction of Cyberspace: Applying Real World Precedent to the Virtual Community, 30 Wake Forest L. Rev. 197 (1995) (existing laws are inadequate; but the methods are sound, so we just need new laws).

Existing Laws and Methods of Lawmaking are Inadequate; New Models Must be Developed

D. James Nahikian, Learning To Love "The Ultimate Peripheral"—Virtual Vices Like "Cyberprostitution" Suggest A New Paradigm To Regulate Online Expression, 14 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 779, 782-83 (1996) ("...this Comment demonstrates how Internet technology is creating a new set of moral dilemmas that render Congress and the courts ill-equipped to respond through traditional regulation.")

Dawn L. Johnson, It’s 1996: Do You Know Where Your Cyberkids Are? Captive Audiences And Content Regulation On The Internet, 15 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. L. 51 (1996) ("...the legislature is not the appropriate entity to regulate the content of constitutionally protected speech transmitted by users of this rapidly developing communications medium.”).

Johnson, David R. and Post, David G., Law and Borders: The Rise of Law in Cyberspace, 48 Stan. L. Rev. 1367 (1996) (efforts to control the flow of electronic information across physical borders are likely to prove futile).  http://www.cli.org/X0025_LBFIN.html (visited 3/6/98).

Robert W. Peters, There Is a Need to Regulate Indecency on the Internet, 6 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 363, 363-64 (1997) (both laws like the CDA and screening technology are needed to protect the right to live and raise children in a decent

No Regulation, Leave it alone

John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace <http://www.eff.org/pub/Publications/John_Perry_Barlow
/barlow_0296.declaration> ("Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind....  I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.").

Jason Kay, Sexuality, Live Without A Net: Regulating Obscenity And Indecency On The Global Network, 4 S. Cal. Interdisciplinary L.J. 355, 387 (1995) ("Because government regulation has been unsuccessful, and self-regulation has succeeded, the Internet should continue to be allowed to regulate itself.")

Keith J. Epstein and Bill Tancer, Enforcement of Use Limitations By Internet Services Providers: "How To Stop That Hacker, Cracker, Spammer, Spoofer, Flamer, Bomber", 9 Hastings Comm/Ent L.J. 661, 664 (1997) (Existing Laws and Methods of Lawmaking are Inadequate; The Internet should be self-regulated).

General Perspectives | Traditional, Nation-State Regulation
The Free Market | Self Regulation of the Internet


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