Книга: Code 2.0

Regulating Code to Increase Regulability

Regulating Code to Increase Regulability

All five of these examples address a behavior that the government wants to regulate, but which it cannot (easily) regulate directly. In all five, the government thus regulates that behavior indirectly by directly regulating technologies that affect that behavior. Those regulated technologies in turn influence or constrain the targeted behavior differently. They “influence the development of code.”[23] They are regulations of code that in turn make behavior more regulable.

The question that began this chapter was whether there were similar ways that the government might regulate code on the Internet to make behavior on the Net more regulable. The answer is obviously yes. There are many steps the government might take to make behavior on the network more regulable, and there are obvious reasons for taking those steps.

If done properly, these steps would reduce and isolate untraceable Internet behavior. That in turn would increase the probability that bad behavior would be detected. Increased detection would significantly reduce the expected return from maliciousness. For some significant range of malevolent actors, that shift would drive their bad behavior elsewhere.

This would not work perfectly, of course. No effort of control could ever be perfect in either assuring traceability or tracking misbehavior. But perfection is not the standard. The question is whether the government could put enough incentives into the mix of the network to induce a shift towards traceability as a default. For obvious reasons, again, the answer is yes.

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