Free Speech/Cyberspace/Lessig: on top of this list of protectors of speech in cyberspace is (once again) architecture ((s) the technical structure) . Relative anonymity, decentralized distribution, multiple points of access, no necessary tie to geography, no simple system to identify content, tools of encryption (1) — all these features and consequences of the Internet protocol make it difficult to control speech in cyberspace. The architecture of cyberspace is the real protector of speech there; it is the real “First Amendment in cyberspace,” and this First Amendment is no local ordinance. (2)
1. Built by industry but also especially by Cypherpunks—coders dedicated to building the
tools for privacy for the Internet. As Eric Hughes writes in “A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto” (in
Applied Cryptography, 2d ed., by Bruce Schneier [New York: Wiley, 1996], 609): “We the
Cypherpunks are dedicated to building anonymous systems. We are defending our privacy
with cryptography, with anonymous mail forwarding systems, with digital signatures, and
with electronicmoney. Cypherpunks write code.We know that someone has to write software
to defend privacy, and since we can’t get privacy unless we all do, we’re going to write it.We
publish our code so that our fellow Cypherpunksmay practice and play with it.Our code is free
for all to use, worldwide.”
2. John Perry Barlow has put into circulation the meme that, “in cyberspace, the First
Amendment is a local ordinance”; “Leaving the PhysicalWorld,” available at link #78.
_____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Code: Version 2.0 New York 2006ff