Anarchy State and the Internet

Journal of Online Law, Article 3, 1995

11 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2006


Who will make and enforce the rules of 'cyberspace'? In this paper, I look at the question by positing various 'controllers,' or points from which rules can issue, ranging from the technical protocols defining the inter-network at one end of the spectrum to Congressional statutes on the other. These controllers vary in their ability to enforce whatever rules they choose to adopt, depending on the existence of conflicting higher-level controllers, and on the possibility that those who are subject to the rules can change jurisdictions to seek a more favorable rule set. The Internet allows a relatively easy change of jurisdiction, or exit, from any given controller, leading to the unprecedented-and unpredictable-situation of a free.

Keywords: internet, regulation

JEL Classification: K10, K42

Suggested Citation

Post, David G., Anarchy State and the Internet. Journal of Online Law, Article 3, 1995, Available at SSRN:

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