Who controls the internet?

Who controls the internet?

Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu both wrote Who controls the Internet?: Illusions of a borderless world (Oxford university press) in an attempt to present their point of view towards what kind of effect technology had towards the nations/country? They made an argument about who really has control of what's happening on the net? As well as made a compelling case on weather internet would erase national boundaries/borders?

At the beginning, the authors discussed the geography and fundamental importance of governmental authority. The introduction begins by introducing the internet giant yahoo's Jerry Yang and yahoo's evolving relationship with foreign government. The author's discussed the lawsuit against yahoo by Mark Knobel for prohibited sale of Nazi goods in France. At first yahoo resists however eventually it decides to surrender to French territorial law by pulling out all Nazi materials off the website. The author then describes yahoo's relationship and collaboration with the Chinese government promising them to filter all material that may be harmful and threatening to internet users of china. Yahoo in collaboration with the Chinese government helped to identify a nonconformist journalist, Shit Tao, through his yahoo email account. Yang said “to be doing business in china, or anywhere else in the world, we have to comply with local law” (p.10) The situation that confronted yahoo summarize the internet's transformation and its adaptation to comply with geography/territorial law and fundamental importance of governmental authority.

The authors goes on to discuss historical events and the struggles relating internet. He focused on key individuals such as; Mr. Bungle, the cyber-libertarian John Perry Barlow and the political engineers, they discussed these individuals personal theories for the internet.

The authors further continue to explain the influence of territorial, cultural and currency differences. It discusses governments and geographical differences in order to make internet more efficient. During the second part of the book, the authors still continue to concentrate on their argument that government control is an essential part of the growth of the internet.

Goldsmith and wu, then discuss “the file sharing movement”. They discuss the effects of technological change on the market and legal system and further discuss “the importance of law and national government, even for file sharing” “a technology designed to be impossible to control” (p.105).The authors discuss infringement of copyright law for usage of file sharing softwares like; kazaa and napster as well as success of apple's Steve Jobs: I'tunes software which is “a legitimate online music site” (p.118) for users to download music.

In the third part of the book, the authors discuss the private companies like e-bay and how in order to prevent frauds and ensure stability in its auction they had to depend on the government supervision.

yahoo in collaboration with the Chinese government helped to identify a nonconformist journalist, Shi Tao, through his yahoo email account. Yang said “to be doing business in china, or anywhere else in the world, we have to comply with local law” “I do not like the outcome of what happen with these things” “but we have to follow the law”. (p.10) The situations that confronted yahoo summarize the internet's transformation and its adaptation to comply with territorial law.

  1. The internet is becoming bordered
  2. The internet has many underappreciated values

The Authors introduced us by presenting the internet giant Yahoo's Jerry Yang, who was strongly opposed towards French regulations that prohibited the sale of Nazi goods in France.The goods were being hosted through a computer server in the United States. Mark knobel who was a neo-nazist said “In the United States these auctions might not be illegal” “but as soon as they cross the French border, it's absolutely illegal” (p.2) Yang however did not agree and replyed “ Asking us to filter access to our sites according to the nationality of web surfers is very naïve” (p.6) all this related to an intensified law-suit which resulted in a final judgement where yahoo had to comply with the French law and it abruptly surrendered announcing it “will no longer allow items that associated with groups which promote or glorify hatred and violence, to be listed on any of yahoo's commerce properties” (p.8). Years later In fall of 2005, yahoo in collaboration with the Chinese government helped to identify a nonconformist journalist, Shi Tao, through his yahoo email account. Yang said “to be doing business in china, or anywhere else in the world, we have to comply with local law” “I do not like the outcome of what happen with these things” “but we have to follow the law”. (p.10) The situations that confronted yahoo summarize the internet's transformation and its adaptation to comply with territorial law.

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