Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Governing the Internet

John Perry Barlow, Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (Electronic Frontier Foundation, 1996)

This piece was published with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Milton Mueller, Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance, Chapter 11, ‘Ideologies and Visions’, 253-271 (MIT Press, 2010)

Internet governance has become a source of conflict in international relations. Networks and States explores the important role that emerging transnational institutions could play in fostering global governance of communication-information policy.

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Gerry Bayne, Internet Governance (Educause, 2013)

This piece, published with Educause, discusses internet governance. 

Jeremy Malcolm, Multi-Stakeholder Governance and the Internet Governance Forum (Terminus Press, 2008)

Multi-stakeholder governance is a fresh approach to the development of public policy, bringing together governments, the private sector and civil society in partnership. The movement towards this new governance paradigm has been most marked in areas involving global networks of stakeholders, too intricate to be represented by governments alone. Nowhere is this better illustrated than on the Internet, where it is an inherent characteristic of the network that laws, and the conduct to which those laws are directed, will cross national borders. Thus momentum has developed to bring multi-stakeholder governance to the Internet, through reforms such as the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). In this groundbreaking and incisive book, Jeremy Malcolm examines the new model of multi-stakeholder governance for the Internet regime that the IGF represents. In doing so Jeremy outlines the state of the regime as it preceded the IGF's formation, and provides a faithful yet accessible account of international law, international relations, democratic theory and consensus decision-making as they bear on the topic. He then builds a compelling case for the reform of the IGF to enable it to fulfil its mandate as an institution for multi-stakeholder Internet governance.

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Lawrence Lessig, Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0 (Basic Books 2006)

There's a common belief that cyberspace cannot be regulated-that it is, in its very essence, immune from the government's (or anyone else's) control. Code, first published in 2000, argues that this belief is wrong. It is not in the nature of cyberspace to be unregulable; cyberspace has no “nature.” It only has code-the software and hardware that make cyberspace what it is. That code can create a place of freedom-as the original architecture of the Net did-or a place of oppressive control. Under the influence of commerce, cyberspace is becoming a highly regulable space, where behavior is much more tightly controlled than in real space. But that's not inevitable either. We can-we must-choose what kind of cyberspace we want and what freedoms we will guarantee. These choices are all about architecture: about what kind of code will govern cyberspace, and who will control it. In this realm, code is the most significant form of law, and it is up to lawyers, policymakers, and especially citizens to decide what values that code embodies. Since its original publication, this seminal book has earned the status of a minor classic. This second edition, or Version 2.0, has been prepared through the author's wiki, a web site that allows readers to edit the text, making this the first reader-edited revision of a popular book.

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David R. Johnson & David Post, Law and Borders – The Rise of Law in Cyberspace (48 Stanford Law Review 1367-1402 (1995)

This paper can be downloaded from SSRN. 

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Joel R. Reidenberg, Lex Informatica: the Formulation of Information Policy Rules Through Technology 76(3) Texas Law Review 553 (1997)

This paper can be downloaded from the Fordham Law Archive of Scholarship and History.

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Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu, Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World, (Oxford University Press, 2006)

The authors offer an assessment of the struggle to control the Internet.

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James Grimmelmann, Sealand, HavenCo, and the Rule of Law 2 Illinois Law Review 405 (2012)

The article can be downloaded from the Illinois Law Review webiste.

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Laura DeNardis, The Emerging Field of Internet Governance (Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies, 2013)

This chapter demonstrates the significance of the emerging field of Internet governance, highlighting issues over standards, names and numbers, and net neutrality, which are unfolding in a variety of contexts around the world, including the Internet Governance Forum. It describes how technology could bias outcomes across policy arenas, such as privacy or freedom of expression. Internet governance generally refers to policy and technical coordination issues related to the exchange of information over the Internet. Governance has had immediate implications for freedom of expression online. Despite the significant public interest implications, Internet governance is largely hidden from public view. A crucial role of Internet governance research is to evaluate the implications of the tension between forces of openness and forces of enclosure, examine the implications of the privatisation of governance, and bring to public light the key issues at stake at the intersection of technical expediency and the public interest.

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Dr. Jovan Kurbalija, An Introduction to Internet Governance (Diplo Foundation, 2016)

Although Internet governance deals with the core of the digital world, governance cannot be handled with the digital-binary logic of the true or false, or good or bad. Instead, the subject demands many subtleties and shades of meaning and perception, requiring an analogue approach, covering a continuum of options and compromises. The aim of the book An Introduction to Internet Governance, by Dr. Jovan Kurbalija, is to provide a comprehensive overview of the main issues and actors in the field through a practical framework for analysis, discussion, and resolution of significant issues.

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Laura DeNardis, Internet Points of Control as Global Governance (Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2013)

The paper can be downloaded from the official CIGI website. 

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William J. Drake, Reforming Internet Governance: Perspectives from the Working Group on Internet Governance (United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, 2005)

The book is open access. 

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William J. Drake, Internet Governance: Creating Opportunities for All – The Fourth Internet Governance Forum (The Fourth Internet Governance Forum, 2009)

The Report can be accessed from the Internet Governance Forum website. 

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William J. Drake, Refraining Internet Governance Discourse: Fifteen Baseline Propositions (United Nations Information and Communication Technology, 2004)

The paper can be downloaded from the Academia website. 

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Jeanette Hofmann, Internet Governance: A Regulative Idea in Flux (Icfai University Press, 2009)

This paper portrays Internet Governance as an open ended collective process of searching that aims to fill the global regulatory void both conceptually and institutionally in a legitimate way. The ever distant – and perhaps unattainable – vanishing point of this search process is a stable regulatory arrangement accepted by all sides, which can adequately accommodate the changing set of challenges in transnational Internet politics as well as the desire of stakeholders to be involved. The prevailing responses to the question of suitable regulatory arrangements for the Internet have changed many times over since the 1980s.The paper distinguishes three stages in this process each characterized by specific types of activity, key actors, perceived problems and policy agendas: the technical regime, the institutionalization of self-governance and the birth of the multi-stakeholder process. It is argued that the ongoing transformation of Internet governance cannot be adequately understood as a mere reaction to existing regulatory problems. Rather, the perception and assessment of problems are themselves constitutive parts of each governance arrangement.

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Andrew Murray, The Regulation of Cyberspace: Control in the Online Environment (Routledge, 2007)

Examining the development and design of regulatory structures in the online environment, The Regulation of Cyberspace considers current practices and suggests a regulatory model that acknowledges its complexity and how it can be used by regulators to provide a more comprehensive regulatory structure for cyberspace.

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Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, The Shape of Governance: Analyzing the World of Internet Regulation, 43 Virginia Journal of International Law 605 (2003).

The paper can be downloaded from Viktor Mayer-Schönberger's personal website. 

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Commission on Science and Technology for Development Secretariat, The mapping of international Internet public policy issues (Intersessional Panel on the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, 2014).

The paper can be downloaded from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development official website. 

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