New York Attorney General grapples to regulate new web-based businesses in old ways

The New York Attorney General (AG) had an op-ed in the New York Times presenting a curious mix of resistance to change, insistence on regulating new things in old way, acknowledgement that web-based businesses create some value and regulators can’t always enforce rules intelligently, and sprinkled now and again with the barely disguised threat that regulators will not … More New York Attorney General grapples to regulate new web-based businesses in old ways

NSA surveillance imperils the Internet as an economic platform

Today’s new revelations from Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing show that the NSA can, and does, use a program that surveils our Internet behavior in a general, blanket way (much in the nature of the “general warrants” that were the whole reason the authors of the Bill of Rights put the Fourth Amendment in there in the … More NSA surveillance imperils the Internet as an economic platform

Adam Thierer on regulating media platforms

The Mercatus Center’s Adam Thierer analyzes communications technologies and the policies influencing the development and use of them, and I’ve always found his work extremely valuable in my own thinking. Adam and Brent Skorup have a new Mercatus study on lobbying in the information technology sector, A History of Cronyism and Capture in the Information … More Adam Thierer on regulating media platforms

How fear affects policy: Adam Thierer on technopanics

Lynne Kiesling Fear is a strong motivating factor, having evolved over millennia as we have protected ourselves against predators. Fear supports self-preservation by making us risk-averse and cautious. But such a deep, visceral, evolved emotion does not always serve our long-term objectives of thriving; it leads to maximin outcomes, and it is often mismatched to … More How fear affects policy: Adam Thierer on technopanics

SOPA/PIPA protests and the economics of content market power

Lynne Kiesling I found some things striking in yesterday’s SOPA/PIPA protests. One was Jim Harper’s clear and cogent statement that the Internet is not a thing, it’s a set of protocols stipulating how computers communicate with each other. That set of protocols is a platform, and those protocols are not the government’s to regulate. Jim’s … More SOPA/PIPA protests and the economics of content market power

FCC and internet regulation: “lobbyists on both sides are already shopping for new vacation houses in Aspen”

Michael Giberson From Regulation 2.0: Frustrated by a federal appeals court ruling that the FCC had no authority to second-guess Comcast’s treatment of customers and under pressure from the Obama Administration to impose a net neutrality regime (whatever that truly means) on the broadband industry, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski is now asserting the commission’s right … More FCC and internet regulation: “lobbyists on both sides are already shopping for new vacation houses in Aspen”

Britain’s digital economy bill is a dud

Lynne Kiesling Britain’s legal institutions may be about to get even more Orwellian than they already are (which is pretty Orwellian, given their widespread use of government CCTV surveillance cameras and their penchant for euphemism). The Digital Economy Bill, introduced in the Queen’s speech to Parliament earlier this week, is downright craven and very likely … More Britain’s digital economy bill is a dud

Shane Greenstein on remote connectivity

Lynne Kiesling My colleague Shane Greenstein does very interesting work on industrial organization and networks in Internet-related industries. These insights also bubble up when he is reflecting on his personal experience in his recent family holiday travels, as related on his blog. Here he relates what they found on their recent travels to northern Wyoming, … More Shane Greenstein on remote connectivity