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Analyzing the Production of the Law of Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  12 community network in Seattle formed as a bottom-up process through a local computing organization. Its goal was public participation and the site largely consisted of a diverse community of non-profit groups. This recognition of diverse interests allowed the Seattle community network to blossom into an important resource for citizens. This highlights how an emphasis on profits may shaped the development of a community network. 40 The development of code can be shaped by strong political and social influences. Firms react to these influences, because if unheeded, these influences could result in higher costs. The costs could include customer acquisition and retention as well as potential regulatory costs. 41 This example illustrates how the media and government can shape the development of code by drawing attention to the societal consequences of newly developed code. 42 Firms are under pressure to develop code rapidly. It is well established that the first competitor in a market has a distinct advantage. 43 However, this emphasis on speed can led to other problems, such as a tradeoff in the quality of the code. 44 In our case study on Netscape, we found the rapid development process led to the incorporation of an immature cookies technology that contained security and privacy flaws. Economics, Technology and Science and the Evolution of Hybrid Institutions, 30 R ES . P OL ’ Y 263, 264 (2001) (noting the role of economic factors in pushing research on the cloning of the sheep Dolly). 40 David Silver, Localizing the Global Village: Lessons from the Blacksburg Electronic Village, in T HE G LOBAL V ILLAGE : D EAD OR A LIVE ? 79 (Ray B. Browne & Marshall W. Fishwick eds., 1999); David Silver, Margins in the Wires: Looking for Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Blacksburg Electronic Village, in R ACE IN C YBERSPACE 133 (Beth E. Kolko et al. eds., 2000). 41 Firms will respond to political and media pressure to disable unprofitable code that affects societal values. See Polly Sprenger, Intel on Privacy: ’Whoops!’, W IRED N EWS , Jan. 25, 1999 available at http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,17513,00.html (Intel’s decision to disable the serial number on its Pentium III processor for privacy concerns); Greg Lefevre, Microsoft’s GUID sparks fears of privacy invasion,CNN, Mar. 8, 1999, available at http://www8.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9903/08/microsoft.privacy.02/. 42 See Steven A. Hetcher, The Emergence of Website Privacy Norms, 7 M ICH . T ELECOMM . T ECH . L. R EV . 97 (2001) (arguing that the FTC was instrumental in pushing larger commercial sites into addressing privacy issues). We argue that this is an appropriate method of inducing change in code. 43 See C ARL L. S HAPIRO & H AL R. V ARIAN , I NFORMATION R ULES 29 (1998). 44 Esther Dyson summarizes this consequence "the seller [of software] wants to make it half-work and improve it next year." Joel Garreau, Thinking Outside the Box, W ASH . P OST , Mar. 19, 2001, at C01.

Authors: Shah, Rajiv. and Kesan, Jay.
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12
community network in Seattle formed as a bottom-up process through a local computing
organization. Its goal was public participation and the site largely consisted of a diverse
community of non-profit groups. This recognition of diverse interests allowed the Seattle
community network to blossom into an important resource for citizens. This highlights how an
emphasis on profits may shaped the development of a community network.
40
The development of code can be shaped by strong political and social influences. Firms
react to these influences, because if unheeded, these influences could result in higher costs. The
costs could include customer acquisition and retention as well as potential regulatory costs.
41
This example illustrates how the media and government can shape the development of code by
drawing attention to the societal consequences of newly developed code.
42
Firms are under pressure to develop code rapidly. It is well established that the first
competitor in a market has a distinct advantage.
43
However, this emphasis on speed can led to
other problems, such as a tradeoff in the quality of the code.
44
In our case study on Netscape, we
found the rapid development process led to the incorporation of an immature cookies technology
that contained security and privacy flaws.
Economics, Technology and Science and the Evolution of Hybrid Institutions, 30 R
ES
. P
OL
Y
263, 264 (2001)
(noting the role of economic factors in pushing research on the cloning of the sheep Dolly).
40
David Silver, Localizing the Global Village: Lessons from the Blacksburg Electronic Village, in T
HE
G
LOBAL
V
ILLAGE
: D
EAD OR
A
LIVE
? 79 (Ray B. Browne & Marshall W. Fishwick eds., 1999); David Silver, Margins in the
Wires: Looking for Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Blacksburg Electronic Village, in R
ACE IN
C
YBERSPACE
133
(Beth E. Kolko et al. eds., 2000).
41
Firms will respond to political and media pressure to disable unprofitable code that affects societal values. See
Polly Sprenger, Intel on Privacy: ’Whoops!’, W
IRED
N
EWS
, Jan. 25, 1999 available at
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,17513,00.html (Intel’s decision to disable the serial number on its
Pentium III processor for privacy concerns); Greg Lefevre, Microsoft’s GUID sparks fears of privacy invasion,
CNN, Mar. 8, 1999, available at http://www8.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9903/08/microsoft.privacy.02/.
42
See Steven A. Hetcher, The Emergence of Website Privacy Norms, 7 M
ICH
. T
ELECOMM
. T
ECH
. L. R
EV
. 97 (2001)
(arguing that the FTC was instrumental in pushing larger commercial sites into addressing privacy issues). We
argue that this is an appropriate method of inducing change in code.
43
See C
ARL
L. S
HAPIRO
& H
AL
R. V
ARIAN
, I
NFORMATION
R
ULES
29 (1998).
44
Esther Dyson summarizes this consequence "the seller [of software] wants to make it half-work and improve it
next year." Joel Garreau, Thinking Outside the Box, W
ASH
. P
OST
, Mar. 19, 2001, at C01.


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