The Foreign Policy of the Internet
Robert D. Hormats
Rarely in history has a new technology posed greater challenges to conventional methods of communication, commerce, governance, and organization than the Internet. The explosive use of the Internet, together with revolutionary breakthroughs in biotechnology and the proliferation of intelligent microprocessors in all aspects of our lives, form a triad of dramatic changes that will define and drive progress in the coming era. These advances will vastly enlarge the human potential, greatly improve the quality of life, and dramatically broaden the scope of knowledge and experience for hundreds of millions of people.
The Internet will substantially diminish the influence of governments, traditional media, and entrenched bureaucracies in the public and private sectors. It will challenge the relevance of laws, regulations, and government policies tailored to modes of commerce, communication, and organization based on older technologies. What new laws, regulations, policies, and patterns of interaction take their place will be prominent issues for debate in national capitals and on global agendas well into this century. Such issues