Should we go for more powers or more effective controls?

Congress Ponders Cybersecurity Power Grab” (TechDirt, 20 April 2009)
another bill and for more powers to control people. The article touches upon a theme touched upon in a book I am currently reading, that of McGuire, Hypercrime – The new geometry of harm (Routledge, 2007). The idea is that with each technology, comes more control for government. Etymologically, to control is to contrarotulare, to check against the rolls. Hence writing gave as much power to government as it gave to users. Internet is no different, or at least should be no different. The problem is that fear of crime and of technology seems to fuel a movement where liberties fiercely obtained in the 18th century against governments are being given away or, ironically, back to governments.
A similar idea is developped by Hildebrandt in her work on Ambient Law. The structure of cyberspace is badly regulated and we do not know what people do, whether governments or companies or individuals. There is a total lack of transparency which takes away from us the very liberties we take from granted, but the evolution is invisible/non-visible.

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About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
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