The Invisible Handshake: The Reemergence of the State in the Digital Environment

57 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2003  

Michael Birnhack

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law

Niva Elkin-Koren

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law

Abstract

The article examines shifts in the role of the State in the information environment, and focuses on the recent, innovative, cooperation between the State and private parties. We argue that while assuming the role of a regulator, the State allowed private nodes of control to emerge and develop in the information environment. We describe how the regulatory regime of the 1990s facilitated this process. When the State now seeks to seize control in the information environment it utilizes these private nodes of control to combat terror. The invisible hand turned out to be very useful for the State, and it is now replaced with a handshake between the State and the private sector. It too, is invisible. The article seeks to make the invisible handshake visible, identifying the legislation that enables the State to seize control in the decentralized borderless information environment. The article traces this intriguing process of recruiting private parties for governing tasks, and analyzes its ramifications for the Internet.

Keywords: Internet, surveillance, Privacy, September 11, state action, theory of the state, ISP liability

Suggested Citation

Birnhack, Michael and Elkin-Koren, Niva, The Invisible Handshake: The Reemergence of the State in the Digital Environment. Virginia Journal of Law & Technology, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=381020 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.381020

Michael D. Birnhack (Contact Author)

Tel Aviv University - Buchmann Faculty of Law ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel Aviv 69978, IL
Israel
+972-3-640-6623 (Phone)

Niva Elkin-Koren

University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel
972-4-8240638 (Phone)
972-4-8240681 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://weblaw.haifa.ac.il/en/Faculty/ElkinKoren/Pages/default.aspx

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