Review Essay

Review Essay The Internet and Public International Law -- Worlds Apart?


An international law dimension of the Internet seems to be emerging. This dimension is not limited to the framework of constraints of existing international law on national or regional efforts towards Internet regulation, but is also about the creation of new international law. It is increasingly clear that various international organizations already compete with each other on this turf of international Internet regulation. If the crucial aspect of Cyberspace regulation is code, as Lessig argues, then the question will be: How can we make sure that code is not hijacked by powerful private vested interests or by countries more advanced in computer technology, thereby imposing their values on others. One answer would be to take the questions about code to the arena of public international law. All will depend on the will of the international community — and, particularly, the will of individual states — to insist on dealing with the subject of Internet regulation as a subject of ‘valid international interest’ in the public international law arena on a truly multilateral basis.

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