Regulation and Internet Technology

The growth of communications and telecommunication technology has stimulated the growth in regulation of new industries. As the technologies advance and cultural and social mores change, new regulation has been needed.

Today, regulation of the Internet has become a sensitive issue and the congress and government continue to look into this issue. However, due to its nature as a ‘personal’ communication tool and its international reach, its regulation is proving to be difficult and controversial (Friedman, 2000).

A serious obstacle for regulation of Internet speech is the borderless nature of this medium. There is no method for limiting the geographic reach of the World Wide Web, e-mail, one-to-many messaging, and distribution groups and, correspondingly, there is no effective mechanism for limiting the visitors to a web site to a particular geographical region(Bolger, Harris, Pyle, & Shapiro, 2001).

Although an Internet web site may be hosted on a server physically located in one jurisdiction, the site may be viewed worldwide. Indeed, it is not even possible to limit where an Internet site may be viewed. This creates significant problems in designing effective legislation to regulate online conduct(Goldberg and Sutin, 2000). Due to its borderless nature, the Internet may prove to be the first medium where, in fact, the federal government constitutionally cannot regulate speech, at least until technology develops a means to erect geographic fences in the current open range of the Internet.


Site created by Bong Kun Song, hand50@ufl.edu
Last updated: 28 November, 2001
© copyright 2001 Bong Kun Song