Controlling the 'Net: How Vested Interests Are Enclosing the CyberCommons and Undermining Internet Freedom
Corporate Capture of the Internet
The Enforcers: The Hague Convention and the Threat to Internet Freedoms and Consumer Protection
by Charlie Cray
The integrity of the Internet, and an array of consumer, civil and other kinds of legal protections and even national sovereignty may be undermined by an obscure treaty, now under negotiation, designed to strengthen the global enforcement of court decisions related to business, observers say.
The agreement, known as the Hague Convention on Jurisdiction and Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (the “Hague Convention”) is being negotiated by more than 50 countries, including the United States. It is designed to give parties assurance that if they win a lawsuit in one country, it will be enforced in another. MORE>>
E-Commerce Eludes the Tax Man: The Click-and-Mortar Artificial Advantage in the New Economy
By Sarah Anderson
E -commerce firms pose vexing new challenges to “old economy” regulators. Virtual merchants’ extreme mobility, remoteness from customers and ability to deliver some goods digitally rather than physically, have helped them stay far beyond the reach of most tax and customs authorities.
But the obstacles to taxing and regulating e-commerce are more political than technical. Information technology firms and tax-averse conservatives have lobbied hard to keep government hands off of what they claim is an “infant industry” in need of nurturing. U.S. officials, eager to curry favor with the hi-tech sector, have responded by promoting a de-regulated approach to e-commerce at home and abroad. MORE>>
The Business of the Watchers: Privacy Protections Recede as the Purveyors of Digital Security Technologies Capitalize on September 11
By Wayne Madsen
In the wake of September 11, a wide array of corporations, with the active encouragement of the U.S. government, are developing new and extremely intrusive systems to capture personal data, biometric data and video information.
Prior to September 11, the proliferation of advanced digital technologies had already led to severe encroachments on personal privacy, with medical, financial and other personal information increasingly stored in commercial databases and, often, available over the Internet to anyone willing to pay a small fee. Post-September 11, data and surveillance firms are eagerly seeking to roll out a new generation of observational and tracking technologies and products that will tear down many of the remaining veils on private activity.
Seizing on the heightened concern about security, the data and surveillance firms argue that their technologies can help ensure safety. Privacy advocates counter that the security benefits are overblown, that initial privacy safeguards applied to the new technologies will inevitably fail or quickly be removed. MORE>>
Controlling the 'Net: How Vested Interests Are Enclosing the CyberCommons and Underming Internet Freedom
An Interview with Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig is a professor at Stanford Law School. He is the author of The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the Seventh Circuit of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a monthly columnist for The Industry Standard, and a board member of the Red Hat Center for Open Source. MORE>>