Welcome to the Past, Present & Future of Internet Regulation

This blog is intended to be an open source venue for information, updates and news about past, current and future Internet regulations. When viewing “Managing the Internet” make sure you hover your pointer over each section and subsection. In many cases there are additional pages with legal cases, and references.

I decided to compile this information in blog format after trying to find a text on the  legal, ethical and policy issues involving the Internet for my public relations and  communications courses. I think one of the problems with a text on this topic is that to keep it current, authors would need to publish a revision at least every couple of months. Obviously, this is not cost-effective to the publisher or to the student. The beauty of a blog is that information can easily be updated as often as needed, for free. I have licensed this blog under Creative Commons so it is available to all.

Additionally, like all policies, Internet regulations can at times be confusing and interpreted many ways by lawmakers, individuals, organizations and the courts.  Unlike most “on ground” regulations, enforcing Internet regulations is a monumental task given the number of people in the world who use the Internet.  According to Internet World Stats in North America, 273.8 million people use the Internet (www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm).   There is also an active debate as to whether the Internet should be regulated at all.  The anti-regulation organizations demand a free and open internet.  The pro-regulation advocates cite many instances of harm, largely from copyright violations, defamation, scams and identity theft. Many of these pro-regulation advocates are from industries that are harmed by wide-spread illegal activities on the Internet. The goal should be to find some middle-ground to make the Internet fair, safe and as free as possible.

This blog is a work-in-progress. I’m currently working on the structure and contents of the blog.  When completed, each page will have as much information about specific Internet regulations as possible, including pros and cons, lawsuits (if any) references and questions for further research. As I delve deeper into this subject, I expect to find more regulations that didn’t pass or that “died” in committee as well as those that are on the books but receive little attention. My hope is that this blog will serve as an educational and research resource for the study of Internet regulations. I will conclude with a theoretical discussion about the future of Internet regulation with a look at this topic under an ethics microscope.

Please feel free to comment and contribute to this blog.  If you have a concern or comment about a specific regulation, please comment under that regulation page. If you have a general comment, you can post it in the “General Forum.” Please read “Rules for Comments” before you comment. You can also email me at g.mckie@neu.edu.

Creative Commons License
Past, Present & Future of Internet Regulation by Gladys McKie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://regulatingtheweb.wordpress.com/.