Julio Bermudez Publication Reference: Bermudez, Julio "Architectural Visions: The Banff Centre for the Arts.
For over ten years, scholars have debated over law in cyberspace. This paper advocates a new kind of exceptionalism, grounded in an examination of legitimate authority in cyberspace. I use social contract theory to locate two sources of legitimate cyberspace authority: I argue that, because cyberspace dissolves territorial boundaries, internet users are insecure in their knowledge of political relationships and that cyberspace communities can resolve this inconvenience.
Framing the Question Cyberspace is a world without territorial boundaries. As we travel through cyberspace, we have no way of knowing where our transactions take place. Since law tends to correspond to territorial boundaries, Cyberspace and real space 2 essay calls into question the legitimacy of real-space law on the internet.
This paper aims to answer the question of legitimacy: I use social contract theory to identify two distinct sources of legitimate authority on the internet: The power of a real-space sovereign over its citizens does not disappear as they enter cyberspace, since this power is derived from a social contract that does not depend on geography.
But internet users can still form distinct communities in cyberspace, built on social contracts. Such cyberspace communities provide security for internet users.
Without a distinct social contract in cyberspace, one is left to wonder whether those with whom he interacts will follow a common set of rules and be subject to a common authority.
But as we form cyberspace communities, built upon social contracts, we are able to interact with other users, knowing that we are in a civil society.
Before engaging the theoretical questions central to this paper, I present two hypothetical situations. Each involves a conflict that lacks a clear resolution because it is unclear where legitimate authority might lie.
While I intend to return to these later in order to provide some solutions, I cannot do so until I build a theoretical framework. The first example involves an online auction. Suppose a seller located in country X sells a given product on his website through an online auction.
The winning bidder lives in country Y. Assume that, in country Y, imposing such a fee without prior consent would be illegal, whereas in country X, it would not be. If the buyer could not cancel his transaction, how could he resolve this problem?
The seller is not doing anything illegal insofar as he is not transgressing any law that he lives under. The seller is dealing with a buyer under a different set of laws, however.
So whose laws should prevail? In practice, there are various factors that would influence the outcome, some more just than others.
But since such disputes can easily arise within cyberspace, and since our current system may or may not provide a just resolution, we should consider what the possibilities might be and whose authority is legitimate. Consider a second example. In this case, the people involved are two players in a virtual gaming environment.
Within this environment, there are goods that players can acquire through trade in virtual currency or through successful battles with virtual monsters.
Suppose that player A owns a powerful sword, earned by defeating the most imposing beast in the game. One day, player A, within the virtual world, puts the sword down for a moment in order to free his hands to do something else.
Player B, who is from another real-space country than player A, sees the sword on the ground next to player A and takes it.
But if player A wishes to get his sword back, to whom could he appeal? But even if each country had applicable laws, whose laws should prevail? Where is there a legitimate authority to decide who should get the sword?Cyberspace specifically disregards the general correspondence, existing in the real world, between physical borders and ‘‘law space’’—based on considerations of power, effects, legitimacy and notice.
While the Tallinn Manual may be the most comprehensive treatise on the applicability of international law to cyberspace thus far, it was developed without the official participation of, and has not been sanctioned by, States.
The U.S. Government, for example, has taken no official position on the views set forth in the Manual. Cyberspace a Place of Risk Essay Words 9 Pages The revolution on new technologies, for instance Internet, has always helped our world and our society to evolve.
Excerpt from Essay: Air, Space, And Cyber Space Security Air, Space, and Cyberspace Power Studies "Since the birth of military aviation, airmen have claimed that airpower offered a .
Cyberspace has itself already demonstrated the immense power of collective intellectual efforts, and I offer this essay in the hopes of spurring others to think about these important questions in .
These essential features of network space allowed millions of people initially feel the possibility of broad freedom, including freedom from social control and moral requirements.
It turned out that the Internet inspires the tempted to make something that in real life he would never have dared.