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The Global Governance of the Internet - Essay Example

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The implication of the Internet for the established notions of governance and jurisdiction is complex, but in fact points to a very crucial issue: the dynamism of the Internet and how to regulate it. Why is the Internet dynamic? Above all, the Internet offers global presence…
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The Global Governance of the Internet
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Download file to see previous pages Above all, the Internet offers global presence. ‘Everywhereness’ is possibly the distinguishing feature of the dynamism of the Internet. Geography is an irrelevant matter for Internet users; hence, regulating the Internet has legal and jurisdictional dilemmas. Moreover, no particular nation or body has power over the Internet. Without a doubt, this dispersed nature has been one of the paramount attributes of Internet dynamism, but it also has raised serious problems. Favourably, Internet dynamism have led to a spectacular outburst of human innovation in terms of new consumer prospects and choices, new commercial channels, and new global information and communication systems. But, unfavourably, the dynamism of the Internet has compounded any effort to regulate it, hold cybercriminals responsible, and resolve conflicts (Mueller, 2010, pp. 175-176). This condition where in a responsible entity or cybercriminal is unknown expresses itself in everyday occurrences: online identity theft, e-mail spam, network viruses, etc. Making matters more complicated is the fact that several nations and jurisdictions also seek someone to be held responsible when their legal principles or societal standards are violated (Thierer & Crews, 2003, p. 16). New, innovative technologies can pose problems for policymakers, who often try to control new technologies that they have little knowledge about. The Internet has been particularly challenging for local and global policymakers because its affordability, accessibility, and inclusiveness helped its popularity to flourish at an unparalleled speed. Unfortunately, the Internet is almost impossible to regulate or control because it is not owned by anybody, and hence anyone can use, or abuse, it from anywhere in the world. Even when an unidentified person does something other people believe to be offensive—like downloading and sharing copyrighted video or music files or posting pornography—it is very difficult to identify the wrongdoer. Thus policymakers have been trying to develop regulations and policies for the Internet in order to identify and prevent cybercrimes or illegal activities on the Internet, like pornography and gambling. In other words, these policymakers are trying to mitigate the adverse outcomes of Internet dynamism. It is the contention of this essay that global rules for the Internet would not undermine its dynamism; in fact, global rule will safeguard and reinforce it. The Need to Regulate the Internet The dynamism of the Internet, which in turn spawned commercialisation, popularity, and ubiquity of the cyberspace, has resulted in some common social dilemmas and conflicts in the Internet. The illegal downloading of video and music files, the proliferation of corrupted forms of speech, and the disintegration of privacy are some of the examples of these dilemmas. Simultaneously, e-commerce merchants have been violated by hackers (Schwabach, 2006, p. 309). It is immature to believe that the best solution can be social rules, the market, or the law alone. The complicated problems raised by the Internet can only be solved through the combination of the market, social rules, and the law. Even though there is a certain extent of controversy on how to regulate the Internet, nobody disputes the importance of some form of global rule and technical management. Regardless of opposition to regulatory supervision, the Internet cannot endure with the absence of this global rule. There should be regulatory entities that take care of usual and everyday technical issues like the supervision of IP addresses and domain names and the establishment of technical norms (Mueller, 1998, p. 93). Two main policy organisations that offer Internet governance are the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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