Ch 19 The Internet

Week 14 Notes:

“The Internet”
Chapter 19- History and Architecture of the Web:

• The first version of the internet was known as ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) (it allowed the department of defense and their contractors to share information as well as hardware. It was first displayed in 1972. The NSFNET which stands for National Science Foundation Network is the basic backbone structure of the internet. Some of the early issues that the NSF (National Science Foundation) encountered with early networks was that all their information was organized differently and therefore it couldn’t be moved to other networks very easily.

• The internet itself is a global system for which the FCC originally laid out the central features of which was to consist of packet switching (as in a Public Switched Telephone Network {PSTN}) Some of the other things that were to be involved with the internet were the following services: TCP/IP + HTTP + NNTP + FTP + SMTP + HTML

Internet Regulation:

• Direct government regulation of the internet is done through the managing of the addressing system.
• One of the major organizations that deals with internet addressing is the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

A Framework for Global Electronic Commerce:

• While the book states that the private sector should lead, it mentions the fact that the government helped finance the development of the internet
• It’s also stated that the government should avoid undue restrictions on electronic commerce (companies should enter legal agreements with limited government involvement
• Government should recognize unique qualities of internet (The success of the web should be due to a decentralized nature and bottom up governance
Regulation of Indecency:
• While the government largely does not regulate the web, there are some regulations in major issues such as sexual materials
• “Sable Communications of California Inc. v FCC “(1989) - Sable offered dial-a-porn services and in 1988, the FCC imposed a blanket prohibition on indecent and obscene materials which happened to include telephone services. Their law was thought not narrowly tailored enough. Sable won the suit and the FCC was dealt a losing blow.

Regulations Concerning Indecent Communications by Telephone:

• The Communication Act of 1934 was amended because of the courts decision in the Sable case
• Congress addressed special areas Constitutionality (The government can regulate indecent speech if it is narrowly tailored and Defenses to Prosecution (No single defense is intended as the only means that information providers have in order to avoid admonishment by the government (fines, litigation, etc)
• ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)-They work with issues regarding litigation and communication subjects
• “RENO v. ACLU” (1997)- This case dealt with sexually explicit material and its regulation on internet, the U.S Supreme Court agreed with the decision of the lower district court that the government has a right to protect children from sexual material online as well as faster growth of internet
• Child Online Protection Act (1998)- Legislation enacted by congress to protect children online from sexual material, all the courts that looked at case involving this act did find however that it was too overly broad
• “Ashcroft v. ACLU” (2004)-The U.S Supreme Court looked into the constitutionality of the COPA law. After much debate and aims to narrowly tailor it, they found that COPA was indeed constitutional.

Copyright Infringement:

• While the government’s involvement in the regulation of the internet has mainly been on indecent and obscene materials, there has also been involvement in copyright
• “MGM Studios Inc. v. Grokster” (2005) –Grokster created a software program that allowed people to download via P2P; MGM sued Grokster because this software was intentionally being used to download materials from MGM movies. MGM won the case

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