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The prospect that technological and social innovation in the use of communication and information technologies are bringing about an end to sovereignty has been a source of optimism, pessimism and ambivalence. It has captured the popular imagination and it can be found in the anxieties of national leaders about the mingling and collision of cultures and cultural products within and across their borders, and about growing awareness that environmental threats bow to no flag. According to much of this discourse, national governments are becoming increasingly powerless in their battles against real or imagined plights of cultural imperialism (and sub‐imperialism, that is, cultural imperialism within states) and capital mobility, as well as in their efforts to effectively exercise political control through surveillance and censorship. The end of sovereignty is a theme in political discussions about new pressures brought on by global regimes of trade and investment, and by unprecedented levels of global criminal networks for drug trafficking, money laundering and trade in human flesh. Social movements and non‐governmental organizations (NGOs) have reflected this by recognizing the need to match the scale of the problems they confront with appropriately scaled collective action. This article examines the discourse about the end of sovereignty and therise of new institutions of global governance. Particular emphasis is given to how advancements in the means of communication have produced the ambivalent outcomes of threatening the democratic governance of sovereign states, and serving as foundations for the assertion of democratic rights and popular sovereignty on a global scale.
This paper provides a brief historical sketch of cable and telephone regulation in the USA, the purpose of which is to demonstrate the legacy that precedes contemporary…
This paper provides a brief historical sketch of cable and telephone regulation in the USA, the purpose of which is to demonstrate the legacy that precedes contemporary debates over competing models of digital networks, and to question the justifications offered for regulating such networks as private property with no corresponding public service obligations.
The paper relies on historical research to examine the rationales that have been used for cable and telephone regulation, based on the use of legal documents (statutes, regulations, court rulings).
The historic justifications that have been used to protect telecommunications from competition amounts to what is known as “corporate welfare”. Today's cable and telephone networks, and the accumulated wealth of the corporations that own them, would not have been possible without the willingness of regulators to favor particular firms and business models, and to protect these firms from competition under the rationale that these networks are “natural monopolies”.
Today's digital networks have been built on the wealth and market dominance that was made possible by protection from competition and the guaranteed rates of return that regulation permitted. Consequently, the property rights that have been afforded to network owners should be accompanied by responsibilities, namely, in the form of public service obligations.
OCLC has developed a CD‐ROM‐based system for the storage, distribution, and retrieval of documents. The system stores an ASCII copy of the text of the original document…
OCLC has developed a CD‐ROM‐based system for the storage, distribution, and retrieval of documents. The system stores an ASCII copy of the text of the original document. It also stores page make‐up and font definition codes. These codes are used to control an inexpensive laser printer in the production of copies that closely resemble the original document. The authors discuss trends in the information equipment and printing industries that will govern the future application of this technology.
Nonviolent civil disobedience is a vital and protected form of political communication in modern constitutional democracies. Reviews the idea of both demonstrating its…
Nonviolent civil disobedience is a vital and protected form of political communication in modern constitutional democracies. Reviews the idea of both demonstrating its continued relevance, and providing a basis for considering its uses as an information‐age strategy of radical activism. The novelty of the forms of speech and action possible in cyberspace make it difficult to compare these new methods of expression easily. Whether in cyberspace or the real world, civil disobedience has historically specific connotations that should be sustained because the concept has special relevance to the political theory and practice of constitutional democracy. Civil disobedience is a unique means of political expression that is used to provoke democratic deliberation about important questions of just law and policy. Among the significant problems that new forms of radical political practice in cyberspace introduce is that their practitioners and advocates neglect the need to distinguish between violence and nonviolence. Examines that problem and others that are central to considering theoretical and political implications of radical activism in general, and civil disobedience in particular, in cyberspace.
Recent developments in media technology have led some within the communications policy field to question traditional approaches to localism and its continued viability as a meaningful policy principle. In response to this potential turning point, this paper explores the underlying rationales for localism and examines the principle’s relevance in an era when media technologies are less restrained by geographic barriers. In terms of its underlying rationales, it is clear that the principle need not be entirely abandoned. The traditional “spatial” conceptualizations and applications of the localism principle still have relevance. If it can be expanded to account for alternative definitions of community, the principle will remain an important principle for communications policymakers and policy analysts.
Discusses the telecommunications infrastructure of the USA andissues surrounding its restructuring. Describes the role and impact ofbroadband Integrated Services Digital…
Discusses the telecommunications infrastructure of the USA and issues surrounding its restructuring. Describes the role and impact of broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) in applications development and the societal implications of this change. Points out that global development of broadband technologies makes personal access to multimedia applications possible and promotes new information‐sharing partnerships. Argues for an holistic, ethical approach to future development of ISDN.