Governance of Internet related topics encounters a variety of challenges. International distribution of the addressees, confiding legal orders and a non physical nature of the transactions in question, to name a few, render many well known mechanisms of governance ineffective. Under these circumstances it appears promising to take a look at the underlying technical infrastructure that is, by definition, international and has direct influence on the behavioural options of all users. The design of this infrastructure determines to a gnat extent the scope of the individual freedom of choice and the reasonable means of governance within an artificially created cyberspace.
This paper argues for a strategy of governance that, in addition to a classical normative approach, aims at a “constitutional design” of the technical infrastructure. As part of this strategy innovators have to be influenced to realise technical features compliant with this objective. Within an international network economy this influence has to be encouraging rather than prohibitive. Several examples from German multimedia regulations show that the technical infrastructure of information society can in fact be steered towards these ends.
© 2002 by Lucius & Lucius, Stuttgart