View Thread > Development and the Internet > Policy - Question 2 > Internet captured by the law
The Internet is frequently cited as having developed so successfully because it was totally unregulated. Long, slow legislative and regulatory procedures are said to be antithetical to free and fast-moving technical development where only the fittest survive. Is this a fair assessment? What are the real costs to the entire nation of the technical and market failures that litter such unregulated markets? What about the non-commercial needs of citizens (privacy, consumer protection, security from crime) that might be sacrificed on the altar of innovation? Do existing laws provide sufficient protection or must new ones be created? Are there any good examples of laws that are truly "technologically neutral"?
Here in Cameroon, the challenge of the regulation is higher and critical. I thing the argument of self regulation is not fair, since if it has some advantages, developed by the theory of Complex adaptive systems for instance, it has many disavantages that have to be addressed. For instance, how can privacy be guarantied in the information age? How can IPR can be protected? Till today, there is no clear act nor legal dispositions adressing these problems in Cameroon, but he need is now clear.
As it is clear that if Internet is a space of librty, there must be a m¨inimum of order, otherwise there should be a chaos. There is a restrictve approach of regulating the Internet, adopted for instance by China and even by other european countries :France, with the case of Yahoo and many other cases that now form a jurisprudence.
It is therefore necessary for the law to adapt to technology, to take into account the evolution of Internet in order to tackle the chaos which has often been installed. This is possible, as the Yahoo case showed, when it argued its non responsability in offenses made in France, pretexting that it was under the american law. The responsability of Providers and of transporters as well as of users is established, and any of these actors can be sue if it is said they have violated a norm.
It is therefore important that justice achieved the necessary transformations, especially in the South. Nex laws must be created, because codes of conduct passed by users and ISP are not well enforced
where ideas are freely exchanged may become the solution for IPR protection. The efficiency of the participants would multiply since the guarrantee or IPR protection is given in a network. This may be a Virtual Private Network for, ohh such a broad definition on what ever you want to call this development.
Through my prior experiences, I know that people in general hold themselves back just for not exactly knowing what results their participation will bring.
For example, we manage yahoo sponsored electronic messaging groups and i try to find a solution for people who think this way and do not put their ideas on the table just for not knowing that they are IPR protected. I believe H2O software is very beneficial and I am in the process of identifiying communuties "CLUSTERS"who will benefit from its operation model.