Anarchy, State, or Utopia? Checks and Balances of Power in Internet Governance

10 Pages Posted: 8 May 2013

Date Written: Mar 2, 2013

Abstract

In the beginning, the Internet was managed primarily through a social contract. Good behavior from all parties involved produced a ripe environment for invention and innovation and generated tremendous benefits for the entire world. But over time, the influx of money and power began to reward selfish behavior more and more, breaking open the Internet’s utopia and leading to crime, censorship, and fights over control. As a result, many are questioning whether national or international governmental bodies should play a more active role in Internet governance. As it is frequently framed, this question of “more or less government” on the Internet is overly simplistic. Today, Internet governance is a complex system of checks and balances among users, businesses, and governments – and too great a disparity of power, for any of these parties, could create imbalance and undermine some policy goals in favor of others, to the detriment of the Internet as a whole.

Suggested Citation

Riley, M. Christopher, Anarchy, State, or Utopia? Checks and Balances of Power in Internet Governance (Mar 2, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2262055 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2262055

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