Lessig Response

Lessig is a major advocate of cyberspace regulations.  He believes that regulation is essential to the smooth functionality of the web.  Cyberspace isn’t a made-up space that is totally separate from the real world; rather, it is integrated with reality.  Lessig emphasizes the importance of recognizing this duality.  It is yet another space of human interaction that must be regulated in order to be used most effectively for the largest number of people.
So yes, regulation is a positive thing in this space.  It is the issue of how to carry out regulation that complicates the matter. Lessig’s discussion of the smart worm that can search a computer for specific material and then move on without causing any harm is a complex issues.  On the one hand, the worm only causes trouble for people who are guilty.  However, it also searches without reasonable suspicion.  The idea of this could be a problem in light of the 4th Amendment for some Americans.  Personally, I have a gut reaction that it is an invasion of privacy.  Lessig’s argument makes logical sense, but my gut reaction remains.
In conclusion, these spaces can and need to be regulated, but how to do so is problematic.  The internet did not come about with regulations and adding regulations is generally hard to push within our own country because of the importance of an ideology of freedom.  Complicating the situation even more is the fact that the internet knows no geographical boundaries and there is no authentification of who is using it.  I admire Lessig’s continuing efforts to argue for regulation, both in 1999 and in 2006, but the fact that the basic original architecture of the internet still exists shows that the foundation is here to stay.  We need to work with the existing architecture rather than restructuring to improve regulation if at all.

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