Recent controversies such as Google's business in China and the U.S. government's role in policing eBay transactions have put a spotlight on the intersection between governments and the Internet. Legal scholars Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu address the issue in their new book, Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World.
The Head of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science, Michael Dertouzos. Fifteen years ago he predicted an "Information Marketplace" like that of the Internet. In his new book, he continues to look ahead to the future of the information age, and how it will affect our lives: "What Will be: How the New World Information Will Change Our Lives."
John Perry Barlow is the co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends civil liberties in cyberspace. Barlow is also a former cattle rancher in Wyoming, and a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is located at 1667 K St. NW, Suite 801, Washington, D.C. 20006-1605.
Bruce Taylor, President and Chief Counsel of the National Law Center for Children and Families. His organization is a resource and education center which assists law enforcement and prosecutors in the enforcement of obscenity and child exploitation laws. He helped draft the legislation in the Communications Decency Act. (The National Law Center Children and Families is located in Fairfax, VA, (703) 691-4626.)
Jerry Berman is Executive Director of the Center for Democracy and Technology. Its mission is to develop public policies that advance democratic values and constitutional civil liberties in new computer and communications technologies. His group has joined a coalition of on line services, telecommunications companies, librarians, and others in filing a federal suit seeking less restrictive means to protect minors on the internet. (The Center for Democracy and Technology is located in Washington, D.C. (202) 637-9800.)
Two weeks ago Congress passed a sweeping new telecommunications bill, the biggest overhaul of telecommunications law in 62 years. The bill contains a provision (the Communications Decency Act) which makes obscenity on the internet illegal, punishable by fines of up to $100,000 and prison sentences to "knowingly" transmit to minors material deemed "indecent" on on-line services.