Well, the comparison may not be so absurd. If we assume that no native were present, the West was a wild territory, extremely vast, with no or few law enforcement people, and thus with people having to rely on their own resources to defend themselves if attacked, until it was progressively “civilised” in that communications improved and law enforcement (without corruption) policed the space. The internet is certainly a vast ‘territory’ where law enforcement people hardly police the place, at least in democracies. Obvious abuses take place and free speech cannot be the only right to prevail in absolute terms. So yes it can be a bit the wild west. On the other hand, regulation cannot be justified simply because of abuses and crimes.
in other words, both sides can’t claim that the technology is perfect or completely wrong, because the technology is neither. It is what humans make of it and for that, humans are responsible.
“Barnier to endorse Spanish-style Internet policing for EU“, 17 May 2011 Euractiv
contrast with: “International Lulz: Anonymous Aids Rebellions in Tunisia, Algeria and Libya“, TechDirt, 27 May 2011
and compare with: “When Google challenges the law” (and the rule of law), my translation of the French language title: Quand Google défie le droit Plaidoyer pour un Internet transparent et de qualité, book from Alain Browel (Belgium) 2011