Laws of Cyberspace

This is a summary of Lawrence Lessig’s article  called Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. There is more detail in his book Code 2.0

There are four constraints that make up regulation, these are:

  1. Law: you have to abide by codified laws or you will get in trouble
  2. Social Norms: you abide by social norms
  3. Market (price): the market has prices for things and these regulate based on affordability
  4. Nature (architecture): that the architecture of the Internet is the code and that the type of code used/deployed depends on how regulation can occur.

Government Regulation

Essentially as time moves on governments decide to enforce more regulation on the Internet. Largely this seems to force the ‘nature’ of the Internet to change: that is the code that is deployed is going to have certain ‘controls’ baked into the code, and this can have an adverse affect on the freedom of the Internet Citizen.

Philosophy Dictates Architecture

Your organization’s philosophy largely dictates your architecture. If you work at a bank the architecture is going to be highly constrained. If you work at a university the architecture is going to be liberate.

Largely, this is also true of the country in which you live. Ironically, the freedom touting country like America had the NSA snooping all over your data.