Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.

Make the Internet an Independent State

Apparently, we’re going to have legislation to ban violent pornography. I think that’s probably a good thing, but I have my reservations about enacting laws that, according to the BBC News article “would apply to websites wherever they were based in the world”, because I happen to think that an unenforceable law is worse than no law at all. (That is, it matters little to some of the people operating illegal or questionable websites whether there is or isn’t a law prohibiting it in the United Kingdom, and having such a law just provides them with a kind of perverse amusement in demonstrating how easy it is for them to break it without consequence.)

I think what we really need is to declare cyberspace independent territory and give it its own legal code. Then we can have an Internet Police Force, that will actually be able to enforce the law, rather than the current situation (of little or no effective law enforcement) because the Internet spans international boundaries and is presently covered (or sometimes, not covered) by a variety of conflicting national legislation. Of course, that would require the existing nation states to cede some of their current authority to the Internet’s new government, including allowing things like IPF officers the power of arrest anywhere on the globe. Still, I think it’s the best way forward.