Summary

Is the Internet erasing national borders? Who's really in control of what's happening on the Net--Internet engineers, rogue programmers, the United Nations, or powerful countries? In this provocative new book, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu tell the fascinating story of the Internet's challenge to governmental rule in the 1990s, and the ensuing battles with governments around the world. It's a book about the fate of one idea--that the Internet might liberate us forever from government, borders, and even our physical selves.
We learn of Google's struggles with the French government and Yahoo's capitulation to the Chinese regime; of how the European Union sets privacy standards on the Net for the entire world; and of eBay's struggles with fraud and how it slowly learned to trust the FBI. In a decade of events, the original vision was uprooted, as governments time and time again asserted their power to direct the future of the Internet. The destiny of the Internet over the next decades, argue Goldsmith and Wu, will reflect the interests of powerful nations and the conflicts within and between them. Well written and filled with fascinating examples, this is a work that is bound to stir heated debate in the cyberspace community.
©2008 Jack Goldsmith (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Damian on 06-08-16

OK, but on the light side

If you're not familiar or intimately involved with Internet culture, history etc, then this will probably be an excellent listen, and I would recommend it for you.

However,if you've been a part of the Internet culture for a while, have some reasonable knowledge of its history or are a regular listener of the iconic tech podcasts that always discuss this kind of stuff, then I'm afraid 80-90% of this will be a bit of a recap. Not a bad recap, listenable, not particularly irritating like some books, but a recap nonetheless. There were moments that I found interesting, insightful and thought provoking, so not all repeated knowledge / wisdom, but the writing did on occasion have me cringing with the naivety and Americanitis that seemed to miss the depths of some topics.

All in all, it was OK for me, and would be good for those less familiar with the topic, but I felt it could have been a bit better.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 07-05-11

Mostly delves into questions of law

I expected this book to "follow the money", and delve into the extent to which the interests of large corporations have molded the evolution of the internet. Instead, this book investigates the legal implications of a "borderless" medium such as the Internet. In other words, how do the laws of one land apply to content that originates in another land? How do companies comply with the variable free speech laws of different nations (China vs. the U.S. for instance).

For me, I found it getting tedious about halfway through. Possibly more interesting to a law student.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Roy on 12-11-10

The World is Flat?

"The World is Flat" and the "Lexus and the Olive Tree" sought to tell us why the internet would allow national boundaries to fall between countries. Essentially, Tim Wu and Jack Goldsmith explain why this prediction is not coming true. Goldsmith and Wu are two of America's leading scholars writing on cyberspace. Individuals interested in the current state and the future impact of cyberspace would benefit from a reading of their volume. Anyone who thinks that the internet should or can run unfettered -will find this volume an eye opener. The writing is clear and accessible. The reading of Bob Loza is excellent.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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