Citations (3)



Governing Cyberspace

David G. Post

Temple University School of Law

Wayne Law Review, Vol. 43, p. 155, 1996

What is the source of those law(s) that will govern our interactions in cyberspace? What body of rules will participants in cyberspace transactions consult to determine their substantive obligations and who is to make those rules? This paper sketches out two alternative models for the way in which order can emerge in this environment, models I refer to as Hamilton and Jefferson. Hamilton involves an increasing degree of centralization of control, achieved by means of increasing international coordination among existing sovereigns, through multi-lateral treaties and/or the creation of new international governing bodies along the lines of the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the like. Jefferson invokes a radical decentralization of law-making, the development of processes that do not impose order on the electronic world but through which order can emerge, in which individual network access providers, rather than territorially-based states, become the essential units of governance. The normative choice is a significant one, and I argue that mobility users' ability to move unhindered into and out of individual networks with their distinct rule-sets is a powerful guarantee that the resulting distribution of rules is a just one; indeed, that our very conception of what constitutes justice may change as we observe the kind of law that emerges from uncoerced individual choice.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: internet, regulation, governance, jurisdiction, sovereignty, conflict of laws

JEL Classification: K10, K42

Download This Paper

Date posted: October 8, 1997  

Suggested Citation

Post, David G., Governing Cyberspace. Wayne Law Review, Vol. 43, p. 155, 1996. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=11477

Contact Information

David G. Post (Contact Author)
Temple University School of Law ( email )
1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-4539 or (202)364-5010 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,257
Downloads: 459
Download Rank: 36,740
Citations:  3

© 2015 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo2 in 0.297 seconds