Code and moral values in cyberspace

Ethics and Information Technology 3 (2):137-150 (2001)
This essay is a critique of LarryLessig's book, Code and other Laws ofCyberspace (Basic Books, 1999). Itsummarizes Lessig's theory of the fourmodalities of regulation in cyberspace: code,law, markets, and norms. It applies thistheory to the topics of privacy and speech,illustrating how code can undermine basicrights or liberties. The review raisesquestions about the role of ethics in thismodel, and it argues that ethical principlesmust be given a privileged position in anytheory that purports to deal with the shapingof behavior in cyberspace. Finally, itproposes a philosophy of ethicalself-regulation instead of an over-reliance ongovernment policy to deal with certainimproprieties and negative externalities thattend to disrupt the Net.
Keywords anonymity  black holes  code  copyright  core values  cyberspace  encryption  freedom  free speech  internet architecture  internet filters  invisible regulation  liberty  privacy  regulation  self-regulation  spam  values  zoning
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DOI 10.1023/A:1011854211207
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