The Fourth Quadrant

15 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2010  

Jonathan L. Zittrain

Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Berkman Center for Internet & Society; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: May 30, 2010

Abstract

This essay makes the case that Internet-based platforms can be evaluated along two dimensions: the first between generative and sterile, indicating openness to further contribution and development from outsiders, and the second between hierarchy and polyarchy, indicating the ease with which those affected by the platform can escape its umbrella.

The quadrants formed by these two dimensions can help us to understand patterns in the development of new technologies and platforms, and to brainstorm the widest array of solutions to problems arising under them, particularly problems involving enforcement of regulations against bad actors. Using cybersecurity as a principal example, the essay explains why current national security approaches to Internet vulnerabilities are unduly narrow, and how focusing attention on the "fourth quadrant" can broaden the range of options.

Keywords: cybersecurity, regulation, cyberspace, internet, lessig

JEL Classification: O3, O31, O33, O39

Suggested Citation

Zittrain, Jonathan L., The Fourth Quadrant (May 30, 2010). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 78, No. 6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1618042

Jonathan Zittrain (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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