The Politics of Internet Governance and Regulation
Internet governance evolved in an ad hoc manner, resulting in a decentralized regulatory environment. New technical, security, privacy, and intellectual property issues have raised the difficult question: who should control the Internet?
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Informed by theories of international relations, this book assesses global political conflicts over cyberspace. It also analyzes the unique governance challenges that the Internet presents, both in terms of technical problems and control over content.
The Internet is a resource of unparalleled importance to all countries and societies, but the current decentralized system of Internet governance is being challenged by some governments that seek to assert sovereign control over the technology. The political battles over governing the Internet—ones that are coming and conflicts that have already started—have far-reaching implications. This book analyzes the shifting nature of Internet governance as it affects timely and significant issues including Internet freedom, privacy, and security, as well as individual and corporate rights.
Controlling Cyberspace: The Politics of Internet Governance and Regulation covers a broad range of issues related to Internet governance, presenting a technical description of how the Internet works, an overview of the Internet governance ecosystem from its earliest days to the present, an examination of the roles of the United Nations and other international and regional organizations in Internet governance, and a discussion of Internet governance in relation to specific national and international policies and debates. Readers will consider if access to the Internet is a human right and if the right to freedom of expression applies equally to the exchange of information online. The book also addresses how the digital divide between those in developed countries and the approximately 5 billion people who do not have access to the Internet access affects the issue of Internet governance, and it identifies the challenges involved in protecting online privacy in light of government and corporate control of information.
- Reviews how the Internet works and reveals how Internet governance has evolved over time, both at the regional and international levels
- Enables readers to understand that Internet governance is not an esoteric topic of interest only to academics, but one that profoundly affects how our personal information is collected, used, and controlled
- Provides an assessment of the consequences of following alternative paths to realize global Internet governance