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[liberationtech] Privacy, Moglen, @ioerror, #rp12

Andre Rebentisch arebentisch at
Thu May 10 17:13:10 PDT 2012

Am 10.05.2012 18:40, schrieb Lee Alley:
>> Your model is being tested in Somalia. ;-)
> </lurkmode>
> Also depends on which bit of Somalia you mean ;-)
> +1 for this discussion! Fascinating and informative! Thanks :-)

I do share the general scepticism against government regulators. It makes a difference if you argue markets are contestable by virtue
(which is true to a certain degree) to prevent regulation or enact policies so that markets ought to become contestable.

In the 1990ths cyberlibertarianism was widespread, as we had to struggle 
with the old state telecom monopolies, analog governments and crypto 
export regulations or even the remains of central planning. After 911 
the state security paradigm set the agenda where civil society took the 
pro-freedom narrative. In the past five years old postponed debates 
reemerged that found new commercial allies (blocking, child porn, 
filtering, trade funnel). The surveillance and privacy debate of the 
1980ths onwards was mostly focussed on state interest in our individual 
data, today companies harvest data (made available to the state). In the 
Arab spring the targets are geriatric regimes and a rebellious youth.

  The main question for me is how to get "good governance" in a field 
characterized by Schumpeterian competition.
How to make governance side with the challengers, not the old bulls. For 
instance 10 years ago Google was still  weak in lobbying. How do we 
avoid that regulators shoot in the cradle of emerging technology firms, 
add risks and strangulate emerging models? The toolset of open market 
policies (pro-competition, pro-openstandards, pro unlicensed spectrum, 
pro-open internet..) has insufficient support in multistakeholder fora. 
Patent regimes slow down the transition because challengers do not have 
large portfolios.

I originate from a city that was mostly dependend on the typewriter 
industry. All the companies a domestic legislator would have consulted 
back then about the future of word processing are now gone. When 
governments do not know what the dominant players of tomorrow would be 
it still makes sense to be first. Being first implies that you naturally 
would regulate against the current dominant business players to path the 
way for the challengers.


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