Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias

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In Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias, Peter Ludlow extends the approach he used so successfully in High Noon on the Electronic Frontier, offering a collection of writings that reflect the eclectic nature of the online world, as well as its tremendous energy and creativity. This time the subject is the emergence of governance structures within online communities and the visions of political sovereignty shaping some of those communities. Ludlow views virtual communities as laboratories for conducting experiments in the construction of new societies and governance structures. While many online experiments will fail, Ludlow argues that given the synergy of the online world, new and superior governance structures may emerge. Indeed, utopian visions are not out of place, provided that we understand the new utopias to be fleeting localized "islands in the Net" and not permanent institutions.

The book is organized in five sections. The first section considers the sovereignty of the Internet. The second section asks how widespread access to resources such as Pretty Good Privacy and anonymous remailers allows the possibility of "Crypto Anarchy" -- essentially carving out space for activities that lie outside the purview of nation-states and other traditional powers. The third section shows how the growth of e-commerce is raising questions of legal jurisdiction and taxation for which the geographic boundaries of nationstates are obsolete. The fourth section looks at specific experimental governance structures evolved by online communities. The fifth section considers utopian and anti-utopian visions for cyberspace.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"An excellent book. Ludlow juxtaposes contrasting views in a way which amuses and enlightens."—Amy S. Bruckman, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262122382
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2001
  • Series: Digital Communication Series
  • Pages: 510
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Ludlow, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, is the author of Semantics, Tense, and Time: An Essay in the Metaphysics of Natural Language (MIT Press, 1999), among other books, and the editor of Crypto Anarchy, Cyberstates, and Pirate Utopias (MIT Press, 2001) and High Noon on the Electronic Frontier (MIT Press,1996).

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
About the Contributors
1 New Foundations: On the Emergence of Sovereign Cyberstates and Their Governance Structures 1
I The Sovereignty of Cyberspace? 25
2 A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace 27
3 Getting Our Priorities Straight 31
4 United Nodes of Internet: Are We Forming a Digital Nation? 39
5 HyperMedia Freedom 47
II Crypto Anarchy 59
6 the Crypto Anarchist Manifesto 61
7 Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities 65
8 A Cypherpunk's Manifesto 81
9 The Future of Cryptography 85
10 Afterword to "The Future of Cryptography" 103
11 Re: Denning's Crypto Anarchy 105
12 Hiding Crimes in Cyberspace 115
III Shifting Borders: How VR Is Claiming Jurisdiction from RL 143
13 Law and Borders: The Rise of Law in Cyberspace 145
14 Anarchy, State, and the Internet: An Essay on Lawmaking in Cyberspace 197
15 Prop 13 Meets the Internet: How State and Local Government Finances Are Becoming Road Kill on the Information Superhighway 213
IV The Emergence of Low and Governance Structures in Cyberspace 243
16 Virtual(ly) Law: The Emergence of Law in LambdaMOO 245
17 "help manners": Cyberdemocracy and Its Vicissitudes 303
18 Due Process and Cyberjurisdiction 329
19 Virtual Magistrate Project Press Release 339
20 Virtual Magistrate Issues Its First Decision 343
V Utopia, Dystopia, and Pirate Utopias 347
21 Utopia Redux 349
22 The God of the Digerati 353
23 Californian Ideology 363
24 Bit Rot 389
25 The Temporary Autonomous Zone 401
App Interview with Noam Chomsky on Anarchism, Marxism, and Hope for the Future 435
Name Index 451
Index of Corporations, Organizations, Agencies, and Other Groups 459
Subject Index 463
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