5 Dec 2013
Cory Doctorow — science-fiction writer, activist, journalist, and blogger — discusses the mistakes politicians commit when regulating the Internet, possible alternatives to the surveillance state, and the major differences between the Internet and previous technologies. He argues that politicians commit two main errors regarding Internet regulation: they 1) mistake the Internet for something that is regulatable instead of a core element to every problem society faces, and 2) they think that endowing technology with a surveillance capacity will only result in those intended to employ this function to do so. As for alternatives to the surveillance state, Doctorow suggests enacting sui generis rules and applying them to a broad, not specific, pool of people. He ends by stating that the Internet, unlike other technologies, is the first to have its application determined by the people at its edges instead of infrastructure providers, and also lowers transaction costs to such a significant degree that it enables large-scale collaboration.