Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0

In his book, Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0, Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig issues a warning regarding the way we know cyberspace today may not exist tomorrow.

Code 2.0

When I first started to read this book I really questioned if cyberspace could really be regulated and if so how? Prior to fully reading the book it was my belief  that there could be an attempt to regulate it, but like everything associated with the web that “the system” has tried to exact laws for it could never be fully accomplished; it’s fundamentally impossible to regulate. I recalled when it was announced that people would be fined and even jailed if they downloaded music and movies from the internet?  What was the outcome?  We had 14 year-old kids be sent to court and threatened with jail time (because “the system” said that they downloaded an unusual amount of music).  Well, fast forward to today.  People are STILL illegally downloading music and movies because others make it available on the web and over it up like a prime cut filet mignon on a silver platter. Of course, I’m by no means an expert on the subject (nor I’m I a professor at Harvard or any other institution for that matter), so this is just the opinion of an university student; a few years from now someone my come across this blog and post a comment like: “You idiot you really could not see the writing on the wall? There was NO way to really regulated cyberspace and you believed this?”

Lessig cautions that one day we are going to wake up and come to see that the cyberspace we know and love has drastically changed right under our nose. This freedom will be snatched away because our every move, who we are, our likes and dislikes will all be supervised, captured and evaluated for some kind of market research report. He believes that our privacy can slowly start to vanish in the tangled web of cyberspace, therefore, we need to arm ourselves and take control regarding what everyone will know about us. Commercial vehicles are at work dictating the change and architecture of cyberspace. But, Lessig does support this kind of hybrid economy between sharing and commercial.

I think Lessig made some very compelling arguments and only time will tell if he is right or not. I hope for sake he has missed the target on this one.


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