posted Aug 10, 2001
'It is certainly a pity that the Internet has not turned out to be quite the force for freedom that it once promised to be. But in many ways, the imposition of local rules may be better than the alternatives: no regulation at all, or a single set of rules for the whole world. A complete lack of regulation gives a free hand to cheats and criminals, and expecting countries with different cultural values to agree upon even a set of lowest-common-denominator rules is unrealistic. In some areas, maybe, such as extradition and consumer protection, some countries or groups of countries may be able to agree on common rules. But more controversial matters such as free speech, pornography and gambling are best regulated locally, even if that means some countries imposing laws that cyber-libertarians object to.'



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