Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0

March 15, 2017 - Comment

There’s a common belief that cyberspace cannot be regulated-that it is, in its very essence, immune from the government’s (or anyone else’s) control. Code, first published in 2000, argues that this belief is wrong. It is not in the nature of cyberspace to be unregulable; cyberspace has no “nature.” It only has code-the software and

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There’s a common belief that cyberspace cannot be regulated-that it is, in its very essence, immune from the government’s (or anyone else’s) control. Code, first published in 2000, argues that this belief is wrong. It is not in the nature of cyberspace to be unregulable; cyberspace has no “nature.” It only has code-the software and hardware that make cyberspace what it is. That code can create a place of freedom-as the original architecture of the Net did-or a place of oppressive control. Under the influence of commerce, cyberspace is becoming a highly regulable space, where behavior is much more tightly controlled than in real space. But that’s not inevitable either. We can-we must-choose what kind of cyberspace we want and what freedoms we will guarantee. These choices are all about architecture: about what kind of code will govern cyberspace, and who will control it. In this realm, code is the most significant form of law, and it is up to lawyers, policymakers, and especially citizens to decide what values that code embodies. Since its original publication, this seminal book has earned the status of a minor classic. This second edition, or Version 2.0, has been prepared through the author’s wiki, a web site that allows readers to edit the text, making this the first reader-edited revision of a popular book.

Comments

Juliet Baker says:

Code 2.0 summary Code 2.0 Summary 

Lewis Sandler says:

A Precursor of the Legal Complexities of Cyberspace The book is intelligently and well written, and a must read for those who have a serious interest in the future of our civiliation. 

Albert M. Latham says:

Not what it seems. Worth a read. While the book is, at its foundation, quite sound in the ideas it brings to the table (sometime scarily so) I think that the author’s desire to lean heavily on anecdotes and stories to make his point is heavy handed, though effective. If you are a person who wants to be politically or socially active this book is a good jumping off point. 

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