Unilateral Regulation of the Internet: A Modest Defence
Posted: 17 Sep 2000
This article analyses the conflicts-of-law problems that supposedly arise from the fact that every nation can unilaterally regulate every Internet transaction. It argues that the threat of multiple national regulation of Internet transactions is significantly exaggerated. It then examines a more serious problem: the spillover effects from unilateral national regulation. These spillovers do not affect the legitimacy of unilateral regulation, but they might argue for public and private harmonization strategies to eliminate the spillovers.
Unfortunately, the prospects for such harmonization are generally dim in many contexts. This means that unilateral national regulation will continue to be a primary vehicle of Internet regulation - a prospect that is not nearly as destructive of the Internet's future as conventional wisdom suggests.
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