Governance And The Proliferation of International Electronic Markets


A variety of issues and public policy decisions are increasingly important to the proliferation of international electronic markets.  In the United States, and internationally, key issues under review include the imposition of access fees on data service providers, mandated universal Internet access, taxation of data service providers/goods and services, intellectual property/copyright, information warfare, and cryptography. 

 The Internet, an expected key information conduit for the proliferation of international electronic commerce, has been somewhat U.S. centric, in that the architects and users were a small elite male homogeneous population.  Since 1995 this has changed due to: reduction of Internet funding/administration by the U.S. Government; the Internet user base has become heterogeneous, reflecting the makeup of society; regionalization of Internet architecture and telecommunication deregulation; lawyer interest in cyberspace.

 Although the Internet has had few rules and regulations, an ad-hoc consensual governance process grew up to address Internet standards and engineering needs.  While bodies such as the IETF, IAB, IANA, ISOC continue to play an important role, no longer can they promulgate rules in the vacuum previously enjoyed.

 As the Internet truly becomes a global medium, many competing interests including national governments, multilateral organizations, consensual ad-hoc bodies, the commercial sector, and special interests will seek to mold laws and operating doctrines.  This will cause network proliferation to be uneven.  Countries favoring telecom deregulation, open markets, low taxes, minimal regulatory mandates, and freedom of information, will see low pricing and a boom in architecture, as well as commercial viability.  Countries with closed markets, monopolistic telecommunications policies, and restrictive information laws will experience stagnant growth. 

 Although many of the existing nation specific rules and regulations in existence may have some place in the cyber governance realm, ultimately the borderless quality of international electronic markets will require the invention of new governance models and processes.

For a better overview, please review the introduction.

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