Книга: Code 2.0

Regulating Code to Regulate Better

Regulating Code to Regulate Better

I’ve surveyed a range of cyberspaces to make clear the elements of regulation within each. One increasingly important element is code. In cyberspace in particular, but across the Internet in general, code embeds values. It enables, or not, certain control. And as has been the focus of this part, it is also a tool of control — not of government control, at least in the cases I’ve surveyed — but instead control to the end of whatever sovereign does the coding.

These stories suggest a technique, and once we see the idea, we’ll recognize the technique in many different contexts of regulation. If Second Life can use code to better control behavior, what about first-life? If AOL can use code to better control fraud, what about America off-line? If the Internet can use the design of e2e to better enable competition, what does that teach regulators on the ground? How do these techniques of policy inform the practice of policy makers?

The answer is that policy makers have done the same in real space for a long time. Just as Chapter 5 described regulators using code to make behavior more regulable, so too have regulators used code to directly control behavior. Consider a few obvious examples:

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