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Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World [Format Kindle]

Jack Goldsmith , Tim Wu

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

A timely look at the ways that governments make themselves felt in cyberspace. Goldsmith and Wu cover a range of controversies, from domain-name disputes to online poker and porn to political censorship. Their judgments are well worth attending. (David Robinson, Wall Street Journal)

In the 1990s the Internet was greeted as the New New Thing: It would erase national borders, give rise to communal societies that invented their own rules, undermine the power of governments. In this splendidly argued book, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu explain why these early assumptions were mostly wrong: The Internet turns out to illustrate the enduring importance of Old Old Things, such as law and national power and business logic. By turns provocative and colorful, this is an essential read for anyone who cares about the relationship between technology and globalization. (Sebastian Mallaby, Editorial Writer and Columnist, The Washington Post)

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 805 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 240 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0195152662
  • Editeur : Oxford University Press; Édition : 1 (24 février 2006)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004S0D2NU
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°298.786 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  27 commentaires
27 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Why the bordered Internet is necessary 24 juin 2006
Par Malvin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
"Who Controls the Internet?" by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu offers a clear-eyed assessment of the struggle to control the Internet. Starting with a discussion of the early vision of a borderless global community, the authors present some of the most prominent individuals, ideas and movements that have played key roles in developing the Internet as we know it today. As Law Professors at Harvard and Columbia, respectively, Mr. Goldsmith and Mr. Wu adroitly assert the important role of government in maintaining Internet law and order while skillfully debunking the claims of techno-utopianism that have been espoused by popular but misinformed theorists such as Thomas Friedman.

The book has three sections. Part One is "The Internet Revolution". The authors discuss the early days of the Internet through the 1990s, when Julian Dibbell and John Perry Barlow articulated a libertarian vision that gained wide currency in the public imagination. The Electronic Frontier Foundation worked to protect the Internet from regulation in the belief that a free online community might unite people and melt government away. However, Jon Postel's attempt to assert control over the root naming and numbering system in 1998 was short-lived, as the U.S. government flexed its power in order to protect its national defense and business interests.

Part Two is "Government Strikes Back". Users in different places with widely varying cultures and preferences want information presented in their local language and context, the authors explain. Governments use a number of techniques to pressure or control local intermediaries to restrict Internet content that a majority of its citizens find unacceptable, such as the sale of Nazi paraphenelia in France. Of course, bad government begets bad policy: the authors tell us how China uses its powers of censorship to block dissent and publishes propaganda that cultivates a virulent form of nationalism. Yet, the authors illustrate how good government can work by showing how the contest in the U.S. between the RIAA and Kazaa ultimately enabled Apple's iTunes to emerge as a legally acceptable service that balances copyright laws and the public's preference for using the Internet to source and download music.

Part Three is "Vice, Virtues, the Future". The authors present an interesting case study about eBay and its founder's idealistic faith in the inherent goodness of the Internet community; we learn that when the company found its business model severely challenged by fraud, a resolution to the crisis was made workable with the assistance of local law enforcement. According to the authors, eBay, the case of an Australian libel lawsuit against a U.S. publisher, and Microsoft's acquiesence to European Union (EU) regulation of its Passport service are examples of how the bordered Internet seeks to protect citizens from harm. They argue convincingly that as a communications medium, the Internet is not unlike other technologies that have come before and therefore the Internet is not likely to displace territorial government. Rather, it is more likely, the authors speculate, that cultural and political differences may be leading us into a technological Cold War where the U.S., EU and China develop their own competitive Internet platforms.

The author's reasoning that issues of Internet law might be handled in the same manner as environmental laws at the international level brings to mind an argument made by Robyn Eckersley in her excellent book, "The Green State" where the pivotal role of the state in preserving the natural environment is asserted. While these two books might appear to be unfashionable to some by their emphasis on the state, in my opinion it appears that the facts on the ground support these authors when they suggest that government serves as the most amenable and accessible mechanism for expressing the popular will of the people, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future.

I strongly recommend this engaging, intelligent and visionary book to everyone.
38 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Poorly reasoned apology for government control/surveillance of the Internet 21 janvier 2010
Par Jesse Taylor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I was very disappointed with this book after seeing all of the high reviews here, and reading the description for the book. I thought I was going to be reading an in-depth analysis of the technical, legal, and political means by which governments control, censor, and surveil the Internet, what the sociopolitical effects of this are, and how people around the world are resisting invasion of privacy and deprivation of autonomy.

Instead, I discovered that it was actually a poorly reasoned apology for government surveillance, censorship, and control of the Internet. Bringing out those trusty old substitutes for rational analysis and debate -- child porn, Nazi hate speech, and computer fraudsters -- Wu and Goldsmith repeatedly attempt to show us how grateful we should be for our governments "protecting" us from "villains", and how we were all so "naive" for thinking that we wanted to be able to have a democratic, uncensored electronic communications medium, and how silly we were for thinking that we would actually be allowed to have one.

They discuss issues within inane framings such as "uninhibited debate vs. order", and talk about how it's great that governments are censoring and monitoring the public, because that's what people need to keep them safe from all of those Nazis and child pornographers. They of course, superficially touch upon the Chinese surveillance state, and how in *extreme* and *rare* situations like China, government surveillance, censorship, and control might *possibly* lead to political repression -- but other than that, they keep on the velvet gloves, hardly discussing government violations of liberty and privacy, and not touching at all upon the extensive surveillance apparatus in the United States or Great Britain. They're too busy scaring us with stories that are supposed to let us know how good all of this is, to honestly cover the reasons that people oppose these sorts of government activities

Instead of hearing WHY people are so "caught up" in these "naive" quest for the ability to have private, uncensored communications, we have over 1/3 of the book informing us that these programs are a "necessary evil", and how anyone who criticizes them is just a naive, ethnocentric "libertarian" who doesn't understand that they can't go around pushing the "uniquely American values" of free speech and privacy on other cultures who don't want them. They both under- and mis-represent the views of people who defend privacy and autonomy, and make them out to be a bunch of naive, overly-optimistic, idealists who have such an innocent, childish view of the world that they, in their quest after silly abstractions like political freedom, have overlooked all of those "public goods" like libel law and police repression that maintain that comfortable "order" (comfortable, that is, if you are an Ivy League professor who gets to experience the friendly side of it, instead of a Chinese torture chamber) that is threatened by "uninhibited debate" (like people being able to openly discuss corporate crimes without being hit with a SLAPP lawsuit for violating the libel/slander laws that the authors are so vigorously promoting).

They "prove" through the example of fraud on E-Bay, that people need government to protect them from fraud, conveniently ignoring the fact that the market system that those same governments were designed to protect are the sole reason that the fraudsters exist in the first place (if there was no money or economic inequality/injustice, what exactly would a fraudster *do*?).

And besides all of that, even as an apology for totalitarianism and nationalism, it was still poorly put together. The book has extremely low information density, and is very poorly reasoned. Even if you agree with them that governments should tightly control and monitor the Internet, you still won't learn much -- most of the book is irrelevant fluff. Their view of how governments "work" is very simplistic -- reminiscent of a high-school civics/government class. Seeing that the authors are law professors at Ivy League universities merely reaffirms Noam Chomsky's statement that many of the people in universities these days are not really "intellectuals", but in fact "a kind of secular priesthood, whose task it is to uphold the doctrinal truths of this society."

Don't waste your time, money, or energy.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Understand the complexity of the Internet 15 janvier 2007
Par Andreas Harke - Publié sur Amazon.com
Jack and Tim made one thing dramatically clear: The Internet is no lawless enclave in our world. Their journey from the very beginning to the modern Internet is full of clear examples and anecdotes describing the "rude awakening" of idealists and patient people who participated in the development of the globe-consuming web.

When I read that the authors come from the dry plains of law science I was sceptical if the book would be worth to read. I imagined that their approach would be as dry as the 1000 ft law books in the libraries.

But, when I opened it and started reading I first put it down after page 186, the very last page of the remarkable work. Their writing is so gripping, so light to read, that even a none-English person like me could easily understand and enjoy it.

After working with the Internet since the beginnings of the 80's I thought I knew a lot about it and how it is screwed together, but I got surprised. Their view from a complete different angle, threw light on hidden aspects I honestly never thought about. In a modern world full of economical interests and its enforcement all makes absolute sense and even dramatic events like the Napster case fall into their logical place in this big puzzle.

Every part of the book is filled with cross-references and hints to further readings. All cases and examples are deep researched and very neutral presented.

Buy it, read it and give it to a dear one.
11 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 BORDER IS NOTHING WITHOUT CONTROL 1 mai 2006
Par VAL ODUENYI - Publié sur Amazon.com
This well-written, smooth-flowing text has the capacity of keeping even the laziest reader reading without pause. Please, note that its essence does not include IT technologies like HTML, CSS, JAVA, and so on. Rather, the business of this book is based entirely on attempts (by both individuals and organisations) to bring sanity to the 'world-wild-net'!
Each argument seemed logical regardless of which side it is inclined to. At the moment, signs of change could be seen at the online horizon; yet, it may still take years (if not decades) for the holes to be completely plugged and monitored. But until when the future arrives, the Internet will remain a borderless world occupied by a flock of fly-free birds, many of which will continue to evade caging.
The chapters of this book did a good job in determining and weighing the pros and cons of effecting Internet controls. And, the most gruesome aspect is that the world wide web runs the risk of being balkanized into 'territorial waters'. And judging by Google's experience in China, this sort of control would cause professionalism to be compromised with the view of gaining market-shares.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that some measure of Internet sanity would be nice. However, absolute or high-handed governmental controls may serve to rob the Net of its flavors. Traditional online businesses would be the biggest gainer if this ever happens, whereas the biggest losers would include internet entertainment and leisure-oriented industries.
Most of the issues raised in this book are real-world. They constitute very good guiding principles. But as the Internet continues to grow and evolve, the validity of these principles may not be all that future-proof. Only time will tell. But until then, border will continue to mean nothing when control is non-existent.
12 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This book is great. 31 mars 2006
Par srl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Lately, news about music piracy, on-line privacy, e-commerce, China's Internet censorship, Yahoo, Google, etc. is everywhere and, given that we spend so much time on the Internet downloading music, web-stalking people, buying stuff and working, we should be really grateful (I know I am) that, without having to read all that news, we can become better informed about these issues and Internet regulation by just reading Who Controls the Internet? Goldsmith and Wu have done us a huge favor by sifting through a lot of information about these complicated topics and breaking it down without dumbing it down.

This book is interesting, accessible and engaging enough to read cover to cover in one sitting. It's not esoteric theory and bears no resemblance to a boring law review article. These professors don't wax poetic about whether or not one can control this wacky metaphysical world called the "Internet".

The current debates about the Internet seem to focus on who gets to control the Internet and, more importantly, our interactions on the Internet and how to exercise such control. Through good writing, thorough research and well-developed ideas, Goldsmith and Wu explain the history behind these debates, where they stand today and how they should be resolved. Their book is great and couldn't be any timelier.

...and, oh yeah, keeping in mind that these guys are law professors, you just gotta love the little shout out to Wu-Tang Clan. Somewhere out there, even ODB is smiling down on this book.
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