- Privacy |
- 4th Amendment
- Expectation of Privacy
A list of some of the most significant historical works influencing Internet policy. This is not a complete list, nor is everything on this list a work - some are laws others are simply things that are important to read about. These tend to be, in my opinion, some of the most compelling works in the field. They tend to be more general in nature in that the more specific a work is, the more limited its impact to the specific issue that it addresses (but that said, some narrowly focused works have had impact well beyond their focus).
Inventing the Future
The work in this era framed the foundation of policy debates for the era's to come. Computers in this era were number crunching machines that had computed military ordinances or engaged in accounting. Visionaries imagined the potential of what computer technology could become. Here, Douglas Englebart gives his famous "Mother of All Demos," demonstrating how computers can facilitate the knowledge worker. J.C.R. Licklider imagines the Man-Computer Symbiosis. In this era, technologists are imagining what what the Internet would become.
- L.C.R. Licklider & Welden Clark, "On-Line Man Computer Communication" 1962
- Baran, P. On Distributed Communication RAND (1964)
- Don Davies, Roger Scantlebury, A digital communication network for computers giving rapid response at remote terminals 1967
- L. Roberts & T. Merrill, "Toward a Cooperative Network of Time-Shared Computers", Fall AFIPS Conf., Oct. 1966.
- Douglas Englebart, "Mother of All Demos"
- Larry Robert's, Multiple Computer Networks and Intercomputer Communication 1967 (plan for ARPANet)
- Vint Cerf, Bob Kahn, TCP, A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection, IEEE Transactions of Communications Technology 1974
- J. H. Saltzer, D. P. Reed, and D. D. Clark, End-to-End Arguments in System Design, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems (November 1984)
- MERIT, NSFNET Final Report 1987-1995
- Katie Hafner, Matthew Lyon, Where Wizards Stay Up Late (Simon & Schuster 1998)
- The FCC's Computer Inquiries
The Honeymoon - The Internet goes public - Exuberance and Utopianism, and Fear
The release of the public Internet by NSF was met by both exuberance and fear. Cyberlibertarians and utopians prophesied (much like others had done at the birth of other communications networks) that the Internet would herald a new era of understanding, dialog, and world peace. This era was characterized by a well established user base that had developed primarily utilizing the new medium for the exchange of ideas; business, government and commercial entertainment had yet to realize the potential of this new medium. Cyberlibertarians and cyberutopians established a dualism, establishing the Internet as a uniquely separate space from "meat" space. And as a unique and separate space, unreachable by legacy governments and legacy capitalist corruptions, the Internet had its own unique norms, governance, and commerce. This exuberance crescendoed with the dot-com bubble, ultimately leading to the dot-com burst.
The utopian exuberance was met by a counter-revolutionary distopian exuberance. To the counter-revolutionaries, the Internet would herald a new era of corruption of our youth and divorce. The counter-revolutionary voice peaked with a 1995 Time Magazine Cyberporn: Exclusive: A new study shows how pervasive and wild it really is. Can we protect our kids - and free speech? and the subsequent passage of the Communications Decency Act. This voice of fear would continue well into the next decade until it was pummeled by the 2002 Thornburgh Report and and the 2008 Berkman Center report on Enhancing Child Safety.
As the Internet moved from nascent toy to mainstream integration, the exuberance of both the utopians and the fear based distopians would be tempered. Entering were the Digital Natives, the first generation of youth who grew up their whole lives online. For them, both the positivism of the utopians and the fear-bating of the distopians were incoherent messages. Dr. Tanya Byron from the UK would arise as a voice condemning the fear-bating, proclaiming that we are raising our children in captivity.
Through-out this time, the FCC would grapple with the proper regulatory approach to nascent broadband Internet. During the cyberlibertarian era, the Internet was an unregulated "information service" offered over a common carriage, and was used by the FCC to drive competitive forces and bring down access charges.
In this era, the purpose of the network is moving beyond academic research and is becoming a marketplace of ideas.
Cyberlibertarianism / Utopian / Positivism
- Prof. David D. Clark, A Cloudy Crystal Ball -- Visions of the Future, p. 551, 24th IETF, July 16, 1992 (presentation given at the 24th Internet Engineering Task Force) (slide presentation, in which Prof. Clark stated what became the motto of the IETF: "We reject: kings, presidents and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code."
- See also The Tao of the IETF
- John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace 1996
- Johnson, David R. and Post, David G., Law and Borders - The Rise of Law in Cyberspace. Stanford Law Review, Vol. 48, p. 1367, 1996.
- Gates, Bill. The Road Ahead. New York: Penguin Books, 1995
- NTIA, Management of Internet Domain Names and Addresses, a statement of policy 1998
- Reno v. ACLU, S.Ct. 1997 (overturning the Communications Decency Act as unconstitutional)
- Final Report of the COPA Commission Presented to Congress (October 20, 2000)
- The Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, White House 1998
- Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community - Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. revised ed. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000.
- Dyson, Esther. Release 2.0 - a Design for Living in the Digital Age. New York: Broadway Books, 1997.
- Rheingold, Howard. The Virtual Community - Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier. revised ed. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000.
- Jerry Berman & Daniel J. Weitzner, Abundance and User Control: Renewing the Democratic Heart of the First Amendment in the Age of Interactive Media, 104 Yale L. J. 1619 (1995)
- Good Samaritan Provision of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230(b)(2) "It is the policy of the United States— (2) to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation; "
- Kevin Werbach, Digital Tornado, FCC OPP Working Paper 1997
- Barbara Esbin, Internet Over Cable: Defining the Future in Terms of the Past, FCC OPP Working Paper 1998
- Michael Kende, The Digital Handshake: Connecting Internet Backbones, FCC OPP Working Paper 2000
- The Stevens Report on VoIP 1998 (expected to forestall regulation for a few months, the Stevens Report defined the FCC's VoIP policy for almost a decade)
Anti-Utopian / Technophobia
There is a counter-revolutionary movement during this era that proclaims doom and the falling of the sky. This counter movement prophesied that the Internet marks the demise of our children, our culture, and all things good. The Internet, this movement believes - is something to be blocked and shut down.
- Communications Decency Act
- FTC Report: Online Privacy: A Report to Congress (6/98) (leading to the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act)
- Children's Internet Protection Act 2010
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998
There were also other voices during this era. Of note, Frank Easterbrook wrote a paper in which his argument could be summed as "What's all this nonsense, then!?!" To put it simply, Easterbrook challenged the notion that there is such a thing as "cyber"law - a unique law set to the "unique" Internet.
- Easterbrook, Frank H. (1996). "Cyberspace and the Law of the Horse". University of Chicago Legal Forum.
- See Lessig, Lawrence (2001). "The Law of the Horse: What Cyberlaw Might Teach". Communications Law and Policy: Cases and Materials, by Jerry Kang (New York: Aspen Law and Business). Retrieved October 5, 2009.
The Recurring Utopian Communications Myth
Every great innovation in communications has been met by an exuberance that it will bring about prosperity, world piece, greater education, and democracy. This was seen with the telegraph, telephone, radio, and television. The initial era, usually a monopoly patent or incubation era, gives way to an era of innovation and hyper competition as first movers make a land rush and stake claims. Hyper competition in turn gives way to market consolidation and market power. As market power grows, public policy concerns emerge. This is a cycle that has received extensive examination.
- James W. Carey and John J. Quirk, "The Mythos of the Electronic Revolution," in James W. Carey, Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society (New York: Routledge, 1989)
- Tom Standage, The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-Line Pioneers(Berkeley: Berkeley Publications, 1999)
- Carolyn Marvin, When Old Technologies Were New: Thinking About Electronic Communications in the Late Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990);
- Brian Wilson, Media Technology and Society: From the Telegraph to the Internet (New York: Routledge, 1998)
- Irving Fang, A History of Mass Communications: Six Information Revolutions (New York: Focal, 1997)
- Alfred D. Chandler and James W Cortada, eds., A Nation Transformed By Information: How Information Has Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)
- David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins, Toward an Aesthetics of Transition
- Noble, David F. The Religion of Technology - the Divinity of Man and the Spirit of Invention. New York: Penguin, 1999.
- Segal, Howard P. Technological Utopianism in American Culture. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1985.
- Mattelart, Armand. The Invention of Communication. Translated by Susan Emanuel. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
- Czitrom, Daniel J. Media and the American Mind. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1982.
- Davis, Robert E. Response to Innovation - a Study of Popular Argument About New Mass Media. New York: Arno Press, 1976
- Coyne, Richard. Technoromanticism - Digital Narrative, Holism, and the Romance of the Real. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1999
Realism: The Internet Goes Mainstream - The Internet Becomes Commercial
In many ways the era of realism is born out of a Hegelian synthesis between the utopian movement and the anti-utopian movement. Through the conflict between those that thought the Internet was an untouchable alternative reality that would bring about world peace, and those that thought that most of the content on the Internet was pornography and was the cause of divorce, war, and dandruff - came an era of realism where the Internet was a forced to be reckoned with.
In this era policy remains nascent. The idea that the Internet is unregulable is fading; but how and why the Internet should be regulated continues to be very much at play. Ecommerce has firmly established itself as a driving force with commercial entertainment following not behind. The Internet is transforming from the utopian marketplace of ideas, to superbowl ads about where to buy shoes online. We continued to navigate by feel, and policy debate continues to be filled with myth and hyperbole (although less so).
As the Internet went mainstream, it also went from dial-up service to broadband. Under FCC Chairman Michael Powell, the Internet would eviscerate traditional common carriage, embrace the Chicago School of Economics, and declare that all broadband Internet was an unregulated "information service."
In this era, the purpose of the network has expanded to include commerce, eGovernment, and entertainment.
- Larry Lessig,CODE and Other Laws of Cyberspace 2000.
- David G. Post, What Larry Doesn’t Get: Code, Law, and Liberty in Cyberspace , 52 STAN. L. REV. 1439 (2000) (critiquing Lessig, from a libertarian perspective, for reliance on "collective action" solutions to policy challenges (or as Declan stated, for turning it over to the centralized bureaucrats)).
- Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council, Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits (2002)
- Dick Thornburgh and Herbert S. Lin, Youth, Pornography, and the Internet, Computer Science and Technology Board, National Academies of Science (2002)
- YOCHAI BENKLER, THE WEALTH OF NETWORKS (2006)
- Enhancing Child Safety & Online Technologies: Final Report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force , Harvard Berkman Center (Dec. 31, 2008)
- Dr. Tanya Byron, Safer Children in a Digital World: the Report of the Byron Review, (March 2008)
- Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet (and how to stop it), 2009
- Richard Whitt, A Horizontal Leap Forward: Formulating a New Communications Public Policy Framework Based on the Network Layers Model, 56 Fed. Comm. L. Jour. 587 (2004). See Layers
- Milton Mueller, Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace (MIT Press 2004)
- FCC v. Brandx, S.Ct. 2005 (affirming the FCC's decision that Internet over Cable is an information service); In re Inquiry Concerning High-Speed Access to the Internet Over Cable and Other Facilities; Internet Over Cable Declaratory Ruling; Appropriate Regulatory Treatment for Broadband Access to the Internet Over Cable Facilities, 17 FCC Rcd. 4798 (March 15, 2002).
Assimilation: The Internet Becomes Normal, and Powerful - The era of consolidation - The era of surveillance
This is the era where digital natives have become adults, and the Internet has been fully integrated in life. While there remains a minority of refusniks, for most, the Internet has become a device in their pocket that helps them coordinate their social lives, when they are going to meet, and - based on reviews - where they are going to go (along with how to get there and pictures and tweets along the way). It is an era where we realize how the Internet fits within the historical cycle of innovation, competition and then consolidation.
This is the era where the Internet masters are surpassing the legacy players. Google and Apple are emerging as powerhouses while Microsoft struggles to reinvent itself. Obama twice wins elections leveraging the power of a massive and sophisticated information technology campaign. Warfare and the fight against terrorism has fully embarked on cyberspace and big data.
The FCC continued to struggle with the appropriate policy approach to broadband Internet. With the elimination of common carriage, communications networks were free to discriminate, and discriminate they did. This led to Republican Chair. Kevin Martin introducing a preliminary network neutrality broadband principles. The new Obama administration made network neutrality a campaign promise, and FCC Chair Julius Genachowski implemented the Open Internet order as formal network neutrality principles, attempting to restore, to some decree, the anti-discriminatory principles of common carriage.
- Remarks on Internet Freedom Remarks Hillary Rodham Clinton Secretary of State The Newseum Washington, DC January 21, 2010
- John Palfrey and Urs Gasser, Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives (Basic Books 2010)
- Timothy Wu, The Master Switch, 2011
- Rebecca MacKinnon, Consent of the Networked (Basic Books 2012)
- Barbara van Schewick, Internet Architecture and Innovation (MIT Press Aug 17, 2012)
- FCC Open Internet Order 2010
- National Broadband Plan 2010
- David G. Post, In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace (2009)