Networks, the Internet, and Cloud Computing


Different business models have evolved for providing information on the Internet, including search engines, which make money from advertising; subscription web sites; and free web sites which drive off-line sales. Scholars examine the evolution of this marketplace and its implications for content providers and businesses.

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TAP Blog

Geoffrey Manne joined the PBS show, Ideas in Action with Jim Glassman, to discuss his views on the “Next Digital Decade.”
The Economist’s open debate on Internet democracy is coming to a close. The Economist’s assertion is that the internet is not inherently a force for democracy. TAP scholar John Palfrey argued against the motion. He asserts that, “The internet is inherently a force for democracy.” Highlights from Palfrey’s statements during the debate are provided.
Two weeks ago, experts in business, technology, law and government convened for the eleventh annual Silicon Flatirons Digital Broadband Migration Conference on the dynamics of disruptive innovation to discuss the rapidly evolving nature of the Internet ecosystem. Given that the Internet is a source of enormous benefit to consumers and challenges to existing business models, policymakers and regulators, the sessions were quite engaging. A summary and links to videos of the sessions are provided.
"The Economist" is holding an open debate on Internet democracy, asserting that the internet is not inherently a force for democracy. TAP scholar John Palfrey is arguing against the motion. He asserts that, “The internet is inherently a force for democracy.”
Last week, leading privacy scholars, Federal Trade Commission commissioners, and internet browser industry leaders met to discuss a “do not track” (DNT) system for the internet. The Browser Privacy Mechanisms Roundtable, hosted by Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, explored the contours of the regulations needed to effectuate do not track, the technical options to implement it, and the political and economic implications of do not track systems. Video, podcasts and transcript are available.
As much as some in the advertising industry dislike DNT, consumers are likely to judge it harshly too.
Nicknamed the internet ‘kill switch,’ the “Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010” was being re-introduced to a Senate committee on the same day that the Egyptian government shut down internet access for its citizens. Debates of censorship, cybersecurity, and economic impact follow.
Economics professor Joshua Gans looks into Google’s accusations that Bing ‘copied’ its search results. In this a case of imitation or optimizing product design?
TAP academics John Palfrey and Jonathan Zittrain have been actively engaged in the discussions about Internet censorship in light of the recent events in Egypt. Highlights from quotes in news journals and research articles are provided.
Earlier this month, Columbia Law School Professor Tim Wu discussed his recent book, “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires” to a full room during the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s luncheon series. A webcast and podcast are available.
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There are a number of privacy issues related to how online companies collect, store, use and share personally identifiable information; and how consumers are informed about what is done with their information online.


Pelosi Clashes With Facebook and Twitter Over Video Posted by Trump

"It’s important for social media sites that have massive reach to make and enforce policies concerning manipulated content, rather than abdicating all responsibility." — Jonathan L. Zittrain, Professor of Law, Harvard University

Jonathan Zittrain
The New York Times
February 8, 2020

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