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."
An excerpt from a recent panel discussion in Philadelphia on the future on the Internet. It was moderated by Terry Gross and took place November 1, 1996 at the University of Pennsylvania. The guests include James Gleick, who writes about technology for the New York Times Sunday Magazine; Paul Ginsparg, a theoretical physicist in Los Alamos; Sherry Turkle, author of "Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet"; and Paul Evan Peters, the Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information. Peters died a few days after participating in this panel.
Terry talks with New Yorker writer John Seabrook about the downside of electronic mail. Then she gets a response from Stewart Brand, the inventor of The Well, a computer conference system. . . Last January Seabrook wrote an article in the New Yorker magazine about Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates. Seabrook was flooded with electronic mail as a result, and to his surprise he was "flamed" for the first time. In Internet jargon, to be "flamed" is to receive an obscene or derogatory E-mail message. Seabrook said he'd never received anything like it before.
Writer Howard Rheingold. In his newest book, "The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier" (Addison- Wesley) he argues that although computer mediated communication has made it possible for people to have access to almost anything, it is dangerous as well. Rheingold says individuals must keep using the internet as a way to express their views or they will loose the ability to do so, as the government and large corporations become more aware of the technology's capabilities.