Faculty of Law, Room 353b
University of Haifa
Title of Presentation: Seizing Power in the Information Environment:
The Comeback of the State
By Michael D. Birnhack & Niva Elkin Koren
IT and the opportunities it created for innovation and access to information replayed some old controversies regarding the inter-relationships between the nation-state, the market and civil society. One issue that is vigorously debated in legal commentary about the Internet focuses on Internet governance and the role of the state in online self-governance and private ordering.
After September 11, the players in the information environment are busy repositioning themselves. The comprehensive legislation that followed the tragic events (such as the USA PATRIOT Act and the European initiated Convention on Cyber-Crime) reflects an attempt of the State to reenter the arena. In the September 11 aftermath, the State takes over the ready-made, quite-centralized, private power. This paper is an attempt to trace this intriguing shift of power, and analyze its significance for designing the information environment.