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Technology vs. the Law

by Jimmy Gorham

Many legal regulations are meant to put a stop to commercial corruption, and as a result our society relies on legislative regulations to prevent harm.  However, the current rate of technological expansion creates a problem completely new to our society, where people can invent new ways to cheat and steal faster than anyone can create laws to prevent these tactics.  In this clip, the CEO of zynga confesses to using every tactic he could come up with to make money and expand his company, including sneaky click through ads that charge people $10 per month without offering them anything in return, or even properly informing them of the charge.

While this one case can be evaluated and deemed reprehensible, it outlines a general trend that our culture must deal with in the coming century.  Our legal process is designed to be one that takes considerable time before coming to any resolutions.  While this was put in place to preserve a system of checks and balances, and to prevent rash governmental decisions in the light of some negative sentiment, it is no longer practical to rely on the government to regulate technology to protect us.  In the race between technology and law, technology will always win in the short term.

The only way our legal system can protect us in the coming century is through proactive regulations, in essence creating laws for technology that doesn't already exist.  In his mobile manifesto, Howard Rheingold talks about the key features that must be protected for mobile technology to avoid the tragedy of the anti-commons. In essence Rheingold is describing the key things that must be protected to ensure that everyone will have access to information and resources in the future, as technology expands.  This manifesto represents a way in which our legal system can actually be productive in preserving the goals of our society. While our legal system can't possibly protect us if it chooses to remain reactionary, our legal system can be successful through proactive regulation, designed to protect access to technology and information.  While our cultural reliance on legal regulations as protections will take time to dissipate, our culture needs to respond to the exponential advancement of technology through a shift in both cultural thinking and legal practices.

Farmville - Scam Expose

Farmville's CEO admits that he did "every horrible thing in the book just to make money."

from Farmville Facebook Application Linked to Scam (2009)
Creator: Newsydotcom
Distributor: Youtube
Posted by Jason Lipshin