The pace of technological change and innovation in the use of digital technologies poses significant challenges for policy-makers across a variety of issues. In some cases (such as copyright or content regulation) these are old and familiar debates where Internet technologies are challenging long-hold regulatory principles, in others, (such as digital infrastructure), policy-makers must deal with entirely new modes of governance and adopt new principles for action. In this lecture we will set up some of the broad questions and themes that will run throughout the whole course such as:
How far should policy-makers and regulators intervene when new technologies radically transform existing business models and social structures?
In which ways is the Internet changing the ability of policy-makers to govern?
To what extent do legal and regulatory issues need to be re-thought in view of the fact that Internet technologies often cross national boundaries?
What can previous disruptive technologies such as the Gutenberg press and telegraph – and the policy debates that surrounded them – tell us about the impact of the Internet?
Lessig, L. (2006) Code 2.0 Chapter 4. Available in an online pdf (this is old in terms of technological context but still sets up the issues beautifully!)