Regulating the New Economy

October 19, 2001 • Volume 11, Issue 36
Is more electronic surveillance needed?
By Adriel Bettelheim

Introduction

Cellphones used to be for talking, but now they are becoming gadgets for entertainment. A cellphone with a built-in camera made by J-Phone Communication reflects the endlessly innovative wireless communication industry.  (AP Photo/Chiaki Tsukumo)
Cellphones used to be for talking, but now they are becoming gadgets for entertainment. A cellphone with a built-in camera made by J-Phone Communication reflects the endlessly innovative wireless communication industry. (AP Photo/Chiaki Tsukumo)

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and the subsequent economic downturn have shifted the political landscape for regulating the digital economy. Many observers believe the Internet and other telecommunications systems constitute critical infrastructure in a time of national emergency and contend the government should adopt an industry-friendly approach that is free of onerous regulations. However, important policy debates continue to rage over such issues as the digital divide, Internet taxation and government surveillance of electronic communications. Policymakers will have to factor these issues into broader deliberations over the U.S. economy and national security if they want to develop a coherent framework for governing the technology sector in the face of new terrorist threats.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Crime and Law Enforcement
Internet and Social Media
Military Intelligence
Regulation and Deregulation