From Anarchy to Power The Net Comes of Age

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9780814731413: From Anarchy to Power The Net Comes of Age
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Yesterday's battles over internet turf were fought on the net itself: today's battles are fought in government committees, in Congress, on the stock exchange, and in the marketplace. What was once an experimental ground for electronic commerce is now the hottest part of our economic infrastructure.

In From Anarchy to Power, Wendy Grossman explores the new dispensation on the net and tackles the questions that trouble every online user: How vulnerable are the internet and world wide web to malicious cyber hackers? What are the limits of privacy online? How real is internet addiction and to what extent is the news media responsible for this phenomenon? Are women and minorities at a disadvantage in cyberspace? How is the increasing power of big business changing internet culture?

We learn about the political economy of the internet including issues of copyright law, corporate control and cryptography legislation. Throughout the book the emphasis is on the international dimensions of the net, focusing on privacy and censorship in the United States, Europe and Canada and the hitherto ignored contributions of other countries in the development of the net. Entertaining and informative From Anarchy to Power is required reading for anyone who wants to know where the new digital economy is heading.

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Most of us missed its first words and baby steps, meeting the Internet only during its long and cranky adolescence. Journalist Wendy M. Grossman explores its transition to mature technology in From Anarchy to Power: The Net Comes of Age, an overview of the political and corporate wrangling that accompanies its explosive growth. Writing with that odd mixture of cynical realism and earnest optimism that characterizes many of the better observers of technoculture, she makes a strong case for letting the Net grow up on its own terms. Equally wary of plays for control from both governmental and corporate entities, she asks readers to think critically and exercise their rights as citizens and consumers to ensure that it stays relatively free and worthwhile for all. Looking at examples of recent phenomena such as the Open Source revolution, the browser wars, and Matt Drudge's contributions to journalism, Grossman finds the risk of power consolidation nearly everywhere. She has a shameless pro-nerd bias (seen in her choice of quotes and shout-outs), though she does rub shoulders with plenty of suits as well. From Anarchy to Power, not quite strident enough to be a manifesto, still passes on a sense of urgency to its readers that can't--and oughtn't--be ignored. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

Wendy Grossman is a freelance writer living in London. She is the author of net.wars (also available from New York University Press).

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