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Frontier Compliance: A Communication System Emerging in Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  4 interests. And attempts for self-governance again contribute to the establishment of a new system that force people in cyberspace to comply. This article describes the new system of communication and governance that emerged in the frontier conditions and experiences in the West and in cyberspace. The recent processes of the Internet governance, primarily led by the new private governing body for internet coordination, ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), generated much controversy regarding the appropriate methods of control and governance of cyberspace, the role of the private and public sectors, and the changing relationships between the government, commercial entities, and individuals. ICANN recently adopted a new internationally applied domain name dispute resolution system, UDRP (The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy), as a mechanism of dealing with increasing disputes between trademark holders and domain name registrants. This so-called alternative dispute resolution system (ADR) is a case that vividly demonstrates the processes and implications of Internet governance, which was formed by the principle of “self-regulation” of the Internet and the “privatization” of international rulemaking in domain name system (Mueller, 1999; Kleinwacher, 2000). By comparing the domain name dispute resolution system and the ways in which it was established and operated with the historical analysis of the Wild West, I attempt to describe the cyberspace governance as a particular kind of communication system that arises out of a particular kind of situation, which I characterize in this article as frontier conditions. America has drawn from the “frontier” for its mythic identity. Frontier is viewed as new and unknown places, the promised land, the New World, and the untamed territory (Rushing, ). The idea of the “frontier” is inherently paradoxical; while it implies unlimited space on the one hand, it encourages conquest on the other. Frontier conditions are described as the inability of the current system to reach and properly govern the people, and people’s willingness to risk and go out of the current system to get what they want. Thus lawlessness and people’s active participation to make new rules are important characteristics of the frontier conditions. By analyzing the ways in which the non-hegemonic, less just, but more powerful system than the mainstream legal system is developed, this article attempts to understand what kind of communication system emerges under the conditions, what are the characteristics of the communication system, what prompts and makes possible that kind of communication system, and what are the implications of the system. Communication scholars have been interested in identifying and distinguishing large frames in which communication takes place (Foucault, 1979; Goffman, ). The

Authors: Woo, Jisuk.
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interests. And attempts for self-governance again contribute to the establishment of a
new system that force people in cyberspace to comply. This article describes the new
system of communication and governance that emerged in the frontier conditions and
experiences in the West and in cyberspace.
The recent processes of the Internet governance, primarily led by the new
private governing body for internet coordination, ICANN (The Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers), generated much controversy regarding the appropriate
methods of control and governance of cyberspace, the role of the private and public
sectors, and the changing relationships between the government, commercial entities,
and individuals. ICANN recently adopted a new internationally applied domain name
dispute resolution system, UDRP (The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution
Policy), as a mechanism of dealing with increasing disputes between trademark holders
and domain name registrants. This so-called alternative dispute resolution system
(ADR) is a case that vividly demonstrates the processes and implications of Internet
governance, which was formed by the principle of “self-regulation” of the Internet and
the “privatization” of international rulemaking in domain name system (Mueller, 1999;
Kleinwacher, 2000). By comparing the domain name dispute resolution system and the
ways in which it was established and operated with the historical analysis of the Wild
West, I attempt to describe the cyberspace governance as a particular kind of
communication system that arises out of a particular kind of situation, which I
characterize in this article as frontier conditions.
America has drawn from the “frontier” for its mythic identity. Frontier is
viewed as new and unknown places, the promised land, the New World, and the
untamed territory (Rushing, ). The idea of the “frontier” is inherently paradoxical; while
it implies unlimited space on the one hand, it encourages conquest on the other. Frontier
conditions are described as the inability of the current system to reach and properly
govern the people, and people’s willingness to risk and go out of the current system to
get what they want. Thus lawlessness and people’s active participation to make new
rules are important characteristics of the frontier conditions. By analyzing the ways in
which the non-hegemonic, less just, but more powerful system than the mainstream
legal system is developed, this article attempts to understand what kind of
communication system emerges under the conditions, what are the characteristics of the
communication system, what prompts and makes possible that kind of communication
system, and what are the implications of the system.
Communication scholars have been interested in identifying and distinguishing
large frames in which communication takes place (Foucault, 1979; Goffman, ). The


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