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Yochai Benkler, Internet Regulation: A Case Study in the Problem of Unilateralism, 11 Eur. J. Int'l L. 167 (2000).

Abstract: The paper identifies two insights that the problem of Internet regulation provides for understanding the more general problem of unilateralism. First, it suggests the existence of a wide variety of mechanisms for encoding the normative preferences of one nation as behavioural constraints on the citizens of another. In the Internet context in particular, technological and organizational adaptations to law play this role. A broad principle of cooperation among nations, which would require each nation to take account in its public actions of the constraints it would impose on the citizens of other nations, would therefore entail a breathtaking degree of cooperation and consideration among nations, or risk that the very breadth of its ambition will severely limit its domain of operation. Secondly, it suggests that the interplay between unilateral lawmaking on the one hand, and a harmonization ethic implemented by imperfectly articulated multilateral process on the other hand, creates an institutional environment ripe for the picking by non-representative commercial or other organizations to embed their values in the regulatory system that will ultimately emerge.