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cyberlaw:code [2019/01/24 14:32]
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cyberlaw:code [2019/02/13 11:27]
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 ##Code is Law ##Code is Law
  
-Shortly after early cyber-libertarians like Barlow declared the internet to be free from regulation, Lawrence Lessig fundamentally changed debates about internet governance and regulation ​by arguing that "code is law".((Lawrence Lessig, Code 2.0 (2006), pp 121–26 http://​codev2.cc/​download+remix/​Lessig-Codev2.pdf)) Lessig argues that code is a form of physical architecture that can control online communication,​ or behaviours, just as effectively as the legal rules of nation states. The hidden ways in which code regulates online behaviours often goes unnoticed, but in every piece of software, in every algorithm, there are hidden assumptions about how the world works or should work. Sometimes this is accidental - for example, many websites are inaccessible to people with print disabilities because they are not designed with this user group in mind. It takes a lot of vigilance to ensure that technologies are developed in a way that does not unintentionally exclude or limit the access of certain groups of people. Other times, though, code acts in a much more sinister way. We have no real understanding of the algorithms that Facebook or Google use to determine which content is visible to us. The news items that popup in our feeds, or the results of our searches, are all determined according to a set of algorithms that are ultimately designed to further the interests of private corporations. These are powerful algorithms -- powerful mechanisms of regulation that we really do not understand, and certainly do not know whether or how we should regulate their design or use.+Shortly after early cyber-libertarians like Barlow declared the internet to be free from regulation, Lawrence Lessig's famous phrase "code is law" ​fundamentally changed debates about internet governance and regulation.((Lawrence Lessig, Code 2.0 (2006), pp 121–26 http://​codev2.cc/​download+remix/​Lessig-Codev2.pdf)) Lessig argues that code is a form of physical architecture that can control online communication,​ or behaviours, just as effectively as the legal rules of nation states. The hidden ways in which code regulates online behaviours often goes unnoticed, but in every piece of software, in every algorithm, there are hidden assumptions about how the world works or should work. Sometimes this is accidental - for example, many websites are inaccessible to people with print disabilities because they are not designed with this user group in mind. It takes a lot of vigilance to ensure that technologies are developed in a way that does not unintentionally exclude or limit the access of certain groups of people. Other times, though, code acts in a much more sinister way. We have no real understanding of the algorithms that Facebook or Google use to determine which content is visible to us. The news items that popup in our feeds, or the results of our searches, are all determined according to a set of algorithms that are ultimately designed to further the interests of private corporations. These are powerful algorithms -- powerful mechanisms of regulation that we really do not understand, and certainly do not know whether or how we should regulate their design or use.
  
 Lessig outlines how code, the physical architecture of the internet, as well as the other modalities of regulation work together in the online environment. For example: Lessig outlines how code, the physical architecture of the internet, as well as the other modalities of regulation work together in the online environment. For example:
  • cyberlaw/code.txt
  • Last modified: 13 days ago
  • by nic