When the prevailing system of governing divides the planet into mutually exclusive territorial monopolies of force, what institutions can govern the Internet, with its transnational scope, boundless scale, and distributed control? Given filtering-censorship by states and concerns over national cyber-security, it is often assumed that the Internet will inevitably be subordinated to the traditional system of nation-states. In Networks and States, Milton Mueller counters this, showing how Internet governance poses novel and fascinating governance issues that give rise to a global politics and new transnational institutions. Drawing on theories of networked governance, Mueller provides a broad overview of Internet governance from the formation of ICANN to the clash at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the formation of the Internet Governance Forum, the global assault on peer-to-peer file sharing and the rise of national-level Internet control and security concerns.
Mueller identifies four areas of conflict and coordination that are generating a global politics of Internet governance: intellectual property, cyber-security, content regulation, and the control of critical Internet resources (domain names and IP addresses). He investigates how recent theories about networked governance and peer production can be applied to the Internet, offers case studies that illustrate the Internet’s unique governance problems, and charts the historical evolution of global Internet governance institutions, including the formation of a transnational policy network around the WSIS.
Internet governance has become a source of conflict in international relations. Networks and States explores the important role that emerging transnational institutions could play in fostering global governance of communication-information policy.
Is the Internet erasing national borders? Will the future of the Net be set by Internet engineers, rogue programmers, the United Nations, or powerful countries? Who’s really in control of what’s happening on the Net?
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 is uprooted, as governments time and time again assert 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.
While acknowledging the many attractions of the earliest visions of the Internet, the authors describe the new order, and speaking to both its surprising virtues and unavoidable vices. Far from destroying the Internet, the experience of the last decade has lead to a quiet rediscovery of some of the oldest functions and justifications for territorial government. While territorial governments have unavoidable problems, it has proven hard to replace what legitimacy governments have, and harder yet to replace the system of rule of law that controls the unchecked evils of anarchy. While the Net will change some of the ways that territorial states govern, it will not diminish the oldest and most fundamental roles of government and challenges of governance.
Well written and filled with fascinating examples, including colorful portraits of many key players in Internet history, this is a work that is bound to stir heated debate in the cyberspace community.
All political and military conflicts now have a cyber dimension, the size and impact of which are difficult to predict. Internet-enabled propaganda, espionage and attacks on critical infrastructure can target decision makers, weapons systems and citizens in general, during times of peace or war. Traditional threats to national security now have a digital delivery mechanism which would increase the speed, diffusion and power of an attack. There have been no true cyber wars to date, but cyber battles of great consequence are easy to find. This book is divided into two sections – Strategic Viewpoints and Technical Challenges & Solutions – and highlights the growing connection between computer security and national security.
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