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News Internet Regulations

  1. Nov 15, 2012 #1

    Drakkith

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    What exactly does it mean to "Regulate" the internet? Why is this important to achieve/avoid?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2012 #2

    Evo

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    You'll have to be much more specific since the internet is not a "thing". It is tens of thousands of pieces of independently, privately, corporately and government owned portions of data networks around the world that tentatively *agree* to connect to each other. Pieces of the internet come and go and change constantly as people buy, sell, go bankrupt, etc...

    Are you talking about *rules* that some governments are trying to impose on owners of the pieces, mostly the major backbone carriers (IXC's)?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  4. Nov 15, 2012 #3
    China regulates their piece of the internet by censoring.
     
  5. Nov 15, 2012 #4

    Evo

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    So wouldn't this belong in P&WA? It's not about computers, it's about law.
     
  6. Nov 15, 2012 #5

    Drakkith

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    What does "regulation" mean first of all?

    I've heard arguments for and against regulating the internet, and I have no idea what the issues are beyond the usual ramblings of morons in online places like facebook. Why would regulation be bad for the net? Obviously this isn't a black or white situation, or else it wouldn't be an issue.
     
  7. Nov 15, 2012 #6
    Control

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act
     
  8. Nov 15, 2012 #7

    Evo

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  9. Nov 15, 2012 #8

    russ_watters

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    via law.

    As opposed to the regulator on your gas line, which controls flow via pressure reduction...
     
  10. Nov 15, 2012 #9
    I try to stay regular without any help from the govt thank you.
     
  11. Nov 15, 2012 #10

    Astronuc

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    Regulation would not necessarily mean control as much as specifying and maintaining standards or rules of conduct or process, or establishing legal liabilities and sanctions.

    From Wikipedia on regulation: "Regulation is the promulgation, monitoring and enforcement of rules. Regulation creates, limits, or constrains a right, creates or limits a duty, or allocates a responsibility."

    One aspect of the internet is commerce. The federal government may regulate interstate commerce.

    Another aspect of the internet is 'publication', and the federal government regulates copyrights.

    The FCC regulates airwaves (radio & TV transmissions). Internet complicates that.

    Regulations can be found in sets of documents such as the Code of Federal Regulations and US Code.
     
  12. Nov 15, 2012 #11

    Drakkith

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    I see. Well, it appears to be quite a conundrum! What to regulate, how to regulate, if to regulate...I mean we can't go around stealing all this media forever without consequence.
     
  13. Nov 15, 2012 #12

    Evo

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    Exactly, stealing is stealing. The fact that the internet makes stealing easier does not make it right.
     
  14. Nov 16, 2012 #13

    Borek

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    If it ain't broken, fix it till it is.

    I doubt it is possible to keep the current copyright regulations in place for much longer, but I am not going to open this can of worms writing what I think.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  15. Nov 16, 2012 #14
    Regulation of the Internet, or attempts at it, must be undertaken very cautiously IMO. If you look at the history of new mediums for information and communication, they almost always start out very open and with lots of innovation, only to then become subject to monopoly or oligopoly and thus extremely restricted and tightly-controlled. This happened with radio, television, motion pictures, music, etc...the Internet is the newest form of such communication, and as of late is very open, but could fall prey to this same thing if we are not careful.

    There have been some who have said for example that Google should be regulated as a utility since it essentially has a monopoly on search. Thing is, there is no way to know for sure that this dominance of search will remain into the future. When Apple was preparing to enter the mobile phone industry, many thought the company very foolish, and said that the industry was consolidating down to about two major players, only then for Apple to come and revolutionize the industry with the iPhone. MySpace was thought to be the dominant social network for awhile too, then came Facebook. Even Google itself came after Yahoo.

    So while a company like Google may seem so dominant now, it could get displaced at some point in the future, but the thing is, if the government starts regulating it as a utility, that inadverdently will likely give Google a permanent monopoly on search.
     
  16. Nov 16, 2012 #15

    SixNein

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    What constitutes stealing in the digital age?
     
  17. Nov 16, 2012 #16

    Drakkith

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    Is this a serious question?
     
  18. Nov 17, 2012 #17
    As compared to practically every other sector of life, the internet is extremely unregulated. This is largely because of the way it was designed, as a decentralized form of informatiom sharing. There are those who believe that everything should be regulated, and the internet suffers from a dangerous lack of government supervision. While governments can target individuals based on their internet activity, it is extremely difficult to target a particular activity as a whole on the internet. The internet is also a medium in which information can be shared and organization can be done outside of centralized outlets, and this fundamentally threatens existing power structures. It is similar as to how the printing press threatened the authority of the church, as previously church scribes were the primary source of publishing.
     
  19. Nov 17, 2012 #18
    Perhaps, but at a certain level of ease the point becomes moot. The traditional notions of intellectual copyright when it comes to creative works, and really information of all kinds, are rapidly being annihilated and there is no evidence that this trend will reverse in the foreseeable future. Of course there is no consensus that the transfer of information constitutes stealing.
     
  20. Nov 17, 2012 #19

    Ryan_m_b

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    I'm not taking any side on this debate but it's worth pointing out that internet piracy is not theft, it's copyright infringement. The important difference is that theft requires property to be illegally taken from the owner by another person. What you get in internet piracy is usually the owner of a product illegally copying it and distributing the copies for free.

    Where the rub comes is the ethics of copyright infringement in certain circumstances along with the practicality of it.
     
  21. Nov 17, 2012 #20

    Drakkith

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    That actually makes things a lot clearer. I was not aware of this.
     
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