The rise of the World Wide Web is challenging traditional concepts of jurisdiction, governance, and sovereignty. Many observers have praised the Internet for its ubiquitous and "borderless" nature and argued that this global medium is revolutionizing the nature of modern communications. Indeed, in the universe of cyberspace there are no passports and geography is often treated as a meaningless concept.
But does that mean traditional concepts of jurisdiction and goverance are obsolete? When legal disputes arise in cyberspace, or when governments attempt to apply their legal standards or cultural norms to the Internet, how are such matters to be adjudicated?
Cultural norms and regulatory approaches vary from country to country, as reflected in such policies as free speech and libel standards, privacy policies, intellectual property, antitrust law, domain name dispute resolution, and tax policy. In each of those areas, policymakers have for years enacted myraid laws and regulations for "realspace" that are now being directly challenged by the rise of the parallel electronic universe known as cyberspace.
Who is responsible for setting the standards in cyberspace? Is a "U.N. for the Internet" or a multinational treaty appropriate? If not, who's standards should govern cross-border cyber disputes? Are different standards appropriate for cyberspace and "real" space? Those questions are being posed with increasing frequency in the emerging field of cyberspace law and constitute the guiding theme this book's collection of essays.
Contributors include: Vinton Cerf, Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., Adam Thierer, Rep. Christopher Cox, Jack L. Goldsmith, David G. Post, Jonathan Zittrain, Michael Geist, Dan Burk, Bruce H. Kobayashi, Larry Ribstein, Robert Corn-Revere, Kurt Wimmer, Michael Greve, Fred Cate, Harold Feld, Eric P. Crampton, Donald J. Boudreaux.
Press Release: Who Rules the Net?