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Code: And Other Laws Of Cyberspace

Lessig, Lawrence

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ISBN 10: 046503912X / ISBN 13: 9780465039128
Verlag: Basic Books 1999-12-15, US, 1999
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Hardcover
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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Code: And Other Laws Of Cyberspace

Verlag: Basic Books 1999-12-15, US

Erscheinungsdatum: 1999

Einband: Hardcover


Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

Über diesen Titel


There's a common belief that cyberspace cannot be regulated that it is, in its very essence, immune from the government's (or anyone else's) control. Code argues that this belief is wrong. It is not in the nature of cyberspace to be unregulable; cyberspace has no nature.” It only has code the software and hardware that make cyberspace what it is. That code can create a place of freedom as the original architecture of the Net did or a place of exquisitely oppressive control.If we miss this point, then we will miss how cyberspace is changing. Under the influence of commerce, cyberpsace is becoming a highly regulable space, where our behavior is much more tightly controlled than in real space.But that's not inevitable either. We can we must choose what kind of cyberspace we want and what freedoms we will guarantee. These choices are all about architecture: about what kind of code will govern cyberspace, and who will control it. In this realm, code is the most significant form of law, and it is up to lawyers, policymakers, and especially citizens to decide what values that code embodies.


Everyone knows that cyberspace is a wild frontier that can't be regulated, right? Everyone is wrong, and that's why we should all read Harvard Law prof (and famous Microsoft trial expert) Lawrence Lessig's eye-opening, jaw-dropping book Code, the best guide yet to the future that's heading our way like a frictionless freight train. For such an analytical book, it's also anecdote-studded and utterly fun to read.

Lessig leads us through the new controversies in intellectual property, privacy, free speech, and national sovereignty. What about a computer worm that can search every American's PC for top-secret NSA documents? It sounds obviously unconstitutional, but the worm code can't read your letters, bust down your door, scare you, or arrest anyone innocent. If you're not guilty, you won't even know you were searched. The coded architecture of the Net also enforces certain freedoms: via the Net, we have now globally exported a more extreme form of free speech than the First Amendment encodes in old-fashioned law. The once-important Pentagon Papers case would be meaningless today: instead of fighting to publish secret government documents, The New York Times could simply leak them to a USENET newsgroup. The Constitution is rife with ambiguities the framers couldn't have imagined, and virtual communities such as AOL and LamdaMOO are organizing themselves in ways governed largely by code--strikingly different ones.

We've got tough choices ahead. Do we want to protect intellectual property or privacy? How do we keep cyberporn from kids--by brain-dead decency laws, censoring filters, or code that identifies kid users? (Lessig advocates code.) Lessig demonstrates that legal structures are too slow and politics-averse to regulate cyberspace. "Courts are disabled, legislatures pathetic, and code untouchable." Code writers are the unacknowledged legislators of the new world, backed by the law and commerce. Lessig thinks citizens must recognize the need to be the architects of their own fate, or they'll find themselves coded into a world they never made. --Tim Appelo

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