The Problem

The Internet has created a world of communication possibilities for all mankind. It has and will continue to revolutionize the way we operate in our environment, both locally and globally. At the same time, however, traditional legal concepts that have been based on geographical borders are being undermined by the new technology which inherently knows no political, national, or territorial boundries.

"The rise of the global computer network is destroying the link between:

  1. the power of local governments to assert control over online behavior
  2. the effects of online behavior on individuals or things
  3. the legitimacy of the efforts of a local sovereign to enforce rules applicable to global phenomena
  4. the ability of physical location to give notice of which sets of rules apply."(1)
Those who claim that we should regulate the Internet most likely do not understand the difficulties that presents. The Internet undermines a system of rule-making based on physical borders between different physical areas. The United States cannot regulate suspect activity on the Internet that originates from outside its borders. In fact, it is nearly impossible to determine, with any certainty, the physical origin of any cyber activity. Cyberspace has no territorially based boundries, because the cost and speed of message transmission on the Internet is almost entirely independent of physical location. Messages can be transmitted from any physical location to any other location without degradation, decay, or substantial delay, and without any physical cues or barriers that might otherwise keep certain geographically remote places and people separate from one another.(2)