Ethics and Information Technology 17 (1):57-64 (2015)

Authors
David M. Douglas
University of Queensland (PhD)
Abstract
I suggest that the social justice issues raised by Internet regulation can be exposed and examined by using a methodology adapted from that described by John Rawls in 'A Theory of Justice'. Rawls' theory uses the hypothetical scenario of people deliberating about the justice of social institutions from the 'original position' as a method of removing bias in decision-making about justice. The original position imposes a 'veil of ignorance' that hides the particular circumstances of individuals from them so that they will not be influenced by self-interest. I adapt Rawls' methodology by introducing an abstract description of information technology to those deliberating about justice from within the original position. This abstract description focuses on computing devices that users can use to access information and information networks that information devices use to communicate. The abstractness of this description prevents the particular characteristics of the Internet and the computing devices in use from influencing the decisions about the just use and regulation of information technology and networks. From this abstract position, the principles of justice that the participants accept for the rest of society will also apply to the computing devices people use to communicate, and to Internet regulation.
Keywords Rawls  Distributive Justice  Rights  Social Contract  Internet Regulation
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DOI 10.1007/s10676-015-9361-1
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References found in this work BETA

Political Liberalism.John Rawls - 1993 - Columbia University Press.
The Law of Peoples.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
Justice as Fairness: Political Not Metaphysical.John Rawls - 1985 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 14 (3):223-251.
Political Liberalism by John Rawls. [REVIEW]Philip Pettit - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):215-220.

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