Why U.S. internet regulation is impossible


As online communities and lawmakers alike get fired up over SOPA and PIPA legislation that would regulate the internet by blocking access to some sites, it has become clear that the U.S. government will never, in its current form, be able to significantly regulate the internet.

Already, developers have come up with a way around the proposed legislation. The Raw Story reports:

“I feel that the general public is not aware of the gravity of SOPA and Congress seems like they are about to cater to the special interests involved, to the detriment of Internet, for which I and many others live and breathe,” DeSopa developer T Rizk explained to TorrentFreak.

“It could be that a few members of congress are just not tech savvy and don’t understand that it is technically not going to work, at all. So here’s some proof that I hope will help them err on the side of reason and vote SOPA down,” he added.

As T Rizk explains, the goal of the browser addon is not to break the potential law, but to prevent it from coming into existence. These developers have rendered obsolete a law that is still grinding through the legislative process.

Under a government that offers the transparency and opportunity for debate that the U.S. does, such legislation can never succeed. The extrmely adaptive and quick-acting online community can render obsolete any regulatory bill before it can go into effect and inhibit the net’s ability to defend against it, as DeSopa has shown.

In short, America’s system of governance, developed before computers had even been thought of, is too slow to regulate the ubiquitous yet agile internet.

The only way and sort of regulation could succeed in reigning in the internet would be through a secret project, developed over months or years, that would go into effect without warning, laying down extreme surveillance and limitations all at once. Within the American political system, such a project is unlikely to be concieved and even more unlikely to succeed.

Photo/Creative Commons/Flickr user Steve Rhode

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