The Internet as a Diverse Community: Cultural, Organizational, and Political Issues

By Urs E. Gattiker | Go to book overview

2—
Regulatory Developments and Internet Policies

Overview

The Internet has been developing rapidly in the last few years and its use worldwide continues to grow. Accordingly, regulatory developments in telecommunication as well as legal concerns require attention to assure a smooth use across borders and continents. Here, some of these regulatory developments are outlined and examples illustrating these points are provided (cf. Appendices 3 and 4). As the discussions illustrate, institutionalization of the Internet is hampered by the lack of harmonization of regulatory efforts across countries.

Policies and regulation are an important vehicle for any institution or organization to establish rules and norms that people can live by. Moreover, such norms and rules facilitate the interaction and exchange of communication or data between various parties. Berger and Luckmann (1967) argued that social reality is a human construction, being created in social interaction. The process by which actions are repeated and given similar meaning by self and others is defined as institutionalization.

Regulation and deregulation of markets result in new rules, norms, and behaviors by users to communicate with each other. In this chapter, my fo-

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