Just as I was finishing the manuscript for “The Laws of Disruption,” my old friend David Post published “In Search of Jefferson’s Moose ” a wonderful monograph on, as he says, the state of cyberspace.
Unlike many law professors who write books about Internet technology, Post is no dilettante. He has a deep understanding of the engineering underlying the basic network protocols, and weaves that knowledge into an extended historical metaphor of the founding principles of the American Republic, particularly of the philosophy of government embraced and expanded by Thomas Jefferson.
Post ‘s section on Internet governance wisely stays out of the weeds and sticks with the most important high-level decisionmaking–how new protocols are propagated, how domain addresses are maintained, whether digital life is “governable” by traditional legal institutions. I share his view that cyberspace is not simply a new technology that can be regulated as well or as poorly as previous technologies. Rather, it is a new frontier and, like earlier frontiers, is one that is and will develop its own approach to governance.
It’s a fast read, and well worth the time.