Ensuring Compliance in a Global World
Private Regulation series
Edited by Fabrizio Cafaggi
Chapter 10: Transnational Private Regulation of the Internet: Different Models of Enforcement
Federica Casarosa 1. INTERNET REGULATION: THREE LEVELS OF ANALYSIS When we speak about ‘the Internet’ we all understand the overall concept, thinking of the global communication network that is accessed mainly through computers, and more recently through many other different devices, such as mobiles, games consoles, and the like. However, such common understanding does not always take into account all the different facets that characterize the large and complex concept of the Internet communication network. To begin with, the Internet is a global network of interconnected packetswitched networks, based on a shared communication protocol (the so-called TCP/IP) that allows servers and computers to interact and communicate among themselves (Abbate, 1999; Leiner et al., 2003). The software application that is most commonly associated with the Internet platform is the World Wide Web, but these are not synonymous, as the latter is only one of the applications that the technical infrastructure of the Internet can host, which include, for instance email, ﬁle transfer protocol, and a variety of peer-to-peer ﬁle sharing programs. Thus, it is possible to afﬁrm that the Internet includes different structural levels, comprising the technical infrastructure of hardware and software, the applications running on such technical infrastructure, and the content that is communicated or generated using those applications (Solum, 2008: 49). This distinction is very important in the framework of this chapter because it clariﬁes that, in order to deﬁne Internet regulation, we should always deﬁne in advance the level that such regulation will apply...
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