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A Borderless World: Realizing the Potential for Global Electronic Commerce

Bibliography of Internet Self Regulation


This bibliography of Internet self regulation was born of many discussions, arguments, and debates about regulating the Internet. In these discussions, it was clear that people were using key terms such as "Internet," "regulation," and most of all "self-regulation," in a variety of different ways, many of them confusing and inconsistent. The recurrent mantra was that, "the Internet should not be regulated by the government, but should be self-regulated instead." Everyone was talking about self-regulation as the obviously preferable alternative to government regulation, but as far as was evident from these discussions, "self-regulation" equaled lack of government regulation. But no affirmative definition or description of self-regulation seemed forthcoming. What is self-regulation of the Internet? What does this look like? Who is the "self" that is regulating itself? What are the mechanisms by which the self-regulates itself? Aren't both national and international governments already regulating the Internet? Are we talking about virtual communities? Filtering software? Does self-regulation really mean no regulation? And just what does it mean to "regulate" something? Does it mean to make laws? Enforce them? Punish people? Who is going to do it? And what part of the Internet are we regulating? The World Wide Web? E-mail? Ftp? The architecture of the Internet itself? Or just what people do when they are logged on?

All these questions plague the debate surrounding Internet regulation. This bibliography is the starting place for answering these questions. It is an attempt to see what has been written about both Internet and self regulation, and find some sensible structure amongst the chaos. It will be updated on a weekly basis with new cites and a constantly evolving structure.

The Central, Organizing Theme of the Bibliography

General Perspectives | Traditional, Nation-State Regulation
The Free Market | Self Regulation of the Internet


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