Civilizing Cyberspace: Policy, Power, and the Information Superhighway, 1st edition

  • Stephen J. Miller

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"Steve Miller has written a readable, thought-provoking guide to the information policy conundrums of the age. He is at his best when he pierces the rhetorical redoubt of deregulation and asks what results we are seeking -- bigger monopolies? broader competition? an information elite? -- from public action. E-mail to policy makers: Read This Book."

--Rep. Edward J. Markey, U.S. Congress

"Finally, here is a book that clarifies the issues and lets those of us who are not computer jocks -- female or male -- understand what's going on behind the headlines so that we may become part of the decision-making process."

--Letty Cottin Pogrebin, founding editor, Ms. Magazine

The Information Superhighway explained! This is the book that lets the rest of us finally understand what it is, what impact it will have, and what we can do to shape our own future. What is behind the headline-grabbing mega-mergers of media companies besides speculative grabbing after windfall profits? Will deregulation and competition lead to widespread service, lower costs, and consumer satisfaction or information redlining, higher prices, and teleconglomerate monopoly? Who will benefit and who will be hurt if the United States uses high technology for competitive advantage in the global market? Is the internet a hot bed of pornography and crime, or a tool for learning and democratic power?

Miller weaves together business trends, political economy, American history, technological savvy, and an awareness of our everyday needs, to focus on the issues that really matter and to make the choices clear. Readable, comprehensive, and insightful, Civilizing Cyberspace is for nontechnical people as well as computer professionals, concerned citizens as well as official policymakers.

Civilizing Cyberspace explains:
  • how universal service can be achieved while avoiding the creation of information "haves and have nots"
  • what is necessary to protect privacy and prevent the erosion of free speech and civil liberties
  • what we can do to protect our standard of living in a multinational economy
  • how telecommunications can be used to strengthen democracy and community rather than simply as a new method of media manipulation


Table of contents


1. Where is Cyberspace: Visions of the Future.

Markets and the Modern World.



Possible Impacts.

Commercial Visions.

The Road Forward.

Question and Answer: Gary Chapman, 21st Century Project.

2. The Policy Starting Point: Markets, Government, and the Public Interest.

The Terms of Debate.

Models of the Future.

The Choice Being Made.

Facing the Issues.

The Market's Mixed Messages.

From Discussion to Action.

The Democratic Imperative.

Question and Answer: Vint Cerf, The Internet Society MCI.

3. What is a National Information Infrastructure: And Why are We Building it?

Microchip Imperialism.

Bottom-Up and Top-Down.

What is a Network?

Origins of the Internet.


The Flat Fee Policy.

Internet Limitations.

It¹s the People Who Make It Special.

Question and Answer: Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland.

4. Framing the Public Policy Debate: Visions, Strategies, and Technology.

Technology is Human Made.

Democratizing the NII Decision-Making Process.

Why Build the NII?

Do We Need to Set National Goals at All?

Strategy and Political Camps.

From Hype to Implementation.

Institutionalizing the Future.

Question and Answer: Jonathan Weber, Los Angeles Times.

5. Protecting the Public Interest: A Menu of Policy Options.

A Menu of Government Strategies.

Past Models.

What Next for the NII?

Question and Answer: Marsha Woodbury, University of Illinois .

6. The Government's Agenda.

Pending Policies.

Military Leadership.

The Civilian Government.

Commercializing Cyberspace.

Federal Communications Commission.

Congressional Action.

From Competition to Free Speech.

Non-Federal Actions.

Citizen Input.

Question and Answer: Ivan G. Seidenberg, Nynex

7. The Players and Their Plans: The Industries and Firms.

The Lineup.

Patterns of Industry Competition.

The Telephone Industry.

The TV Industry.

Cellular, Wireless, and Satellite.

Electric Power Companies.

Hardware, Software, and Games.

Information and Service Provider.

Question and Answer: Karen Coyle, University of California

8. Universal Service: Giving Everyone a Chance.

What Is Universal Service?

The Requirements.

Strategic Options for Universal Service.

Overall Funding Is the Starting Point.


The Real Necessities.

Question and Answer: Doug Schuler, Seattle Community Network

9. Democracy and Free Speech: Online Organizing for Participation and Power.

Reversing the Withdrawal from Public Life.

The Precondition: Universal Access.

Networking for Democracy.

Reserving Noncommercial Space on the NII.

Public Right-of-Way Legislation.

Public Access to Public Information.

Open Discussion.

Free Speech and Censorship.

Common Carriers and Equitable Access.

From Participation to Power: Strategies for Electronic Democracy.

The Building Blocks of Electronic Democracy.

Helping Leaders Get the Message.

Citizenship in a Networked World.

Turning Visions into Reality.

Question and Answer: Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center

10. Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Encryption: Controlling Our Data Identity.

Electronic Exposure.

The Constitutional Basis.

Accuracy, Integrity, Security, and Privacy.

Junk Mail and Other Annoyances.

Who Owns Your Data?

Your Money or Your Life: Computer Crimes.

Class Actions.

"When They Came for Me, There Was No One Left to Protest..."

The Encryption Debate.

The Spooks' Counterattack.

The Laws on Our Side.

No Hiding Place Down Here.

Question and Answer: Donald Murray, Boston Globe

11. Community, Diversity, and Citizenship: Online Ethics and the Need for Meaningful Connections.

Community and the Technology Marketplace.

The Internet Community.

Mass Media and the Search for Community.

The Building Blocks of Community.

Creating Community Through Local Networks.

The Building Process.

Virtual Communities.


Question and Answer: Jeff Johnson, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

12. Economic Development: Work, Crime, and Intellectual Property.

Uneven Development.

Tele-Crimes and Other Cracks.

Intellectual Property.

The International Perspective.

Question and Answer: Tim Wise, Grassroots International

13. Citizen Action: From Analysis to New Institutions.

The Tragedy of the Commons.

Measuring Success.

Local Action.

National Action.

Technology Planning and Democracy.

Index. 0201847604T04062001

Published by Addison-Wesley Professional (November 17th 1995) - Copyright © 1996