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Internet Points of Control

Jonathan L. Zittrain

Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Boston College Law Review, Forthcoming

The online availability of pornography and unauthorized intellectual property has driven Internet growth while giving rise to efforts to make the Net more regulable. Early efforts to control the Internet have targeted the endpoints of the network - the sources and recipients of objectionable material - and to some extent the intermediaries who host others' content. Recently attention has shifted to intermediaries near would-be recipients of content. The U.S. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania permits its attorney general to obtain a court order requiring Internet service providers to block Pennsylvanians' access to Internet locations designated as containing illegal pornography. If successful, this approach could be employed for other regulatory purposes, such as controlling the online distribution of copyright-infringing materials. While the Pennsylvania law suffers from a number of technical limitations and Constitutional vulnerabilities, with some adjustments to Internet architecture and data carriage practices this approach could become a comprehensive scheme for widespread content control that overcomes a number of enforcement barriers and jurisdiction-related objections.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: internet, cyberlaw, routing, packets, data, copyright, pornography, law

JEL Classification: K11, K4, O3, O34

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Date posted: March 19, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Zittrain, Jonathan L., Internet Points of Control. Boston College Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=388860 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.388860

Contact Information

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
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