Preface

I decided on the title, “Managing the Internet” because regulations are attempts to do just that. Early regulations or proposed ones were initiated and even passed by individuals who had little or no knowledge about the Internet. Many of the early laws were passed to control the free flow of pornography because it was in easy reach of children. I have divided this section into four categories to discuss defamation, intellectual property infringement, privacy and security and other regulations that fall outside of the above categories.

Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press are part of the foundations of a democracy, yet in the United States they are not unlimited freedoms.  Although courts have vigorously defended these freedoms, there are instances when abusing these freedoms causes harm to individuals or institutions. On the Internet, users can post defamatory statements about an individual or an organization anonymously. Those defamed have little recourse as you will see when read the first section on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Copyright violations are an enormous problem on the Internet. Since Napster made it possible to download and share music in 1999, the government and industries are trying to combat this illegal activity. The section on Intellectual property contains several regulations designed to combat copyright infringement. Some of these bills passed, some died in committee and some have gone through revisions.  Many of the copyright regulations have met with opposition from cause organizations that advocate for a free, regulation-free Internet.

Privacy and security are huge problems on the Internet. From social media issues to tracking our every move, we wonder if it is possible to be completely private online. The debate between privacy and security continues to trouble Internet users, law enforcement and the government. Regulations to control SPAM, fraud and our online privacy are noble ideas but these activities are hard to regulate because of the massive incidents of SPAM and fraud. Instead of enforcing some of these regulations, government and private organizations have placed this responsibility on the consumer to protect him/herself from fraud and identity theft.

The final section is intended for the discussion of other Internet regulations that have an impact on Internet users.

Since this project is a work-in-progress, feel free to comment and make suggestions.

 

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