Internet Architecture and Innovation (MIT Press)

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9780262013970: Internet Architecture and Innovation (MIT Press)
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A detailed examination of how the underlying technical structure of the Internet affects the economic environment for innovation and the implications for public policy.

Today -- following housing bubbles, bank collapses, and high unemployment -- the Internet remains the most reliable mechanism for fostering innovation and creating new wealth. The Internet's remarkable growth has been fueled by innovation. In this pathbreaking book, Barbara van Schewick argues that this explosion of innovation is not an accident, but a consequence of the Internet's architecture -- a consequence of technical choices regarding the Internet's inner structure that were made early in its history.

The Internet's original architecture was based on four design principles: modularity, layering, and two versions of the celebrated but often misunderstood end-to-end arguments. But today, the Internet's architecture is changing in ways that deviate from the Internet's original design principles, removing the features that have fostered innovation and threatening the Internet's ability to spur economic growth, to improve democratic discourse, and to provide a decentralized environment for social and cultural interaction in which anyone can participate. If no one intervenes, network providers' interests will drive networks further away from the original design principles. If the Internet's value for society is to be preserved, van Schewick argues, policymakers will have to intervene and protect the features that were at the core of the Internet's success.

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About the Author:

Barbara van Schewick is Associate Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, Director of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, and Associate Professor (by courtesy) of Electrical Engineering in Stanford University's Department of Electrical Engineering.

Review:

This is an important piece of policy work and anyone who cares about the Internet ought to give it a read.

(Fred Wilson A VC blog)

... Internet Architecture and Innovation is an important work: it supplies a key piece of the broadband puzzle in its consideration of broadband transport as a necessary input for other businesses...van Schewick's fundamental premise rings true: only neutral networks promote competition and innovation.

(ars technica)

This is a tour de force on the topic of the end-to-end principle in the design of the Internet.

(Daniel E. Atkins, W.K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information, Professor of Information and EECS, and Associate Vice-President for Research Cyberinfrastructure, University of Michigan)

This is an important book, one which for the first time ties together the many emerging threads that link the economic, technical, architectural, legal, and social frameworks of the birth and evolution of the Internet.

(David P. Reed, MIT Media Laboratory)

This isn't a flash in the pan piece. This book will be an evergreen in a wide range of academic and policy contexts more than an introduction to how technology and policy should be analyzed, it is, in my view, the very best example of that analysis.

(Lawrence Lessig, author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace)

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