Tuesday, January 17, 2006

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Trade law and cyber-realism

My future colleague Joel Trachtman has a new blog on international trade law that is worth checking out.

[What could possibly be interesting about an international trade law blog?--ed.] Well, Joel was smart enoough to link to this Christopher Shea piece in the Boston Globe about Jack Goldsmith and Timothy Wu's forthcoming book on national regulation of the Internet:

[F]orget all that talk about a borderless utopia and about blogs dissolving dictatorships-or at least tamp it down. When it comes to the Internet, ''The story of the next 10 years will be one of rising government power," says Tim Wu, a former marketing executive for a Silicon Valley company who now teaches law at Columbia. While some countries are committed to a fundamentally ''closed" Internet, others want it open. Since technology permits both approaches, Wu adds, ''I wouldn't be surprised if we saw an Internet version of the Cold War."

Wu is coauthor, with Harvard law professor Jack L. Goldsmith, of the iconoclastic forthcoming book, ''Who Controls the Internet?" (an excerpt of which appears this month in Legal Affairs magazine). The book, to be published in March, could be called an example of ''cyberrealism" in two ways. It grafts the hard-nosed ''realist" school of foreign policy-states and state interests are what matters-onto an analysis of what's going on with the Web today. It also tries to deflate hype by arguing that most of the supposedly unprecedented issues raised by the Internet can be handled by existing concepts in international law.

Go check it all out.

posted by Dan on 01.17.06 at 01:07 PM


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