Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Technology and Regulation

A Case of Common Domain

The US government is getting set to open up a set of airwave frequencies, vacating the prime estate for obscure channels that will serve its purposes just as well. In addition, the newly available channels will provide a big boost to the capabilities of current wireless telecom providers. Continue Reading...

The Stewardship of Space

As the newly-burgeoning field of space tourism takes the first steps towards reality, elements of the federal government are already pushing for stringent regulation. In a 60 Minutes report last night, the Ansari X Prize, “an extraordinary competition created in 1996 to stimulate private investment in space,” has spawned the new space race. Continue Reading...

The Digital Divide and Civil Society

A new UN report examines the “digital divide” in developing countries and concludes that the “gaps are still far too wide and the catching-up far too uneven for the promise of a truly global information society.” Stephen Grabill examines the issue and the role that civil society plays in enabling access to information technology. Continue Reading...

New Mexico – Gateway to the Stars?

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has taken another step forward with the announcement of an agreement with the State of New Mexico: Virgin Galactic, the British company created by entrepreneur Richard Branson to send tourists into space, and New Mexico announced an agreement Tuesday for the state to build a $225 million spaceport. Continue Reading...

Anything UN Can Do, ICANN Do Better

I wrote previously about the result of the recent world information summit that resulted in ICANN’s continuing governance over Internet domain registration worldwide. Fast Company Now provides us a link to the letter from Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Continue Reading...

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of a Crisp Image

I wonder what’s on C-SPAN tonite. An interesting piece today by George Will, outlining what he calls a new government entitlement program that is being batted around the House and Senate: $990 million (according to the House) or $3 billion (according to the Senate) to subsidize digital converters for television sets. Continue Reading...

A La Carte

As much as I would love to have the choice to pick what channels I pay for and receive over cable individually, I think Arnold Kling is right: The FCC shouldn’t force cable companies to offer that option. Continue Reading...

The Digital Divide in the Developing World

A key barrier to economic growth in the developing world is reliable access to the global information network: the Internet. A UN-sponsored study, “Information Economy Report 2005” by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, (PDF) shows that one of the features of the digital divide between the developing and the developed world has to do with the cost of high-bandwidth Internet access. Continue Reading...

“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidise it.”

Alan Anderson of the Sydney Morning Herald notes that Ronald Reagan’s joke about the Government’s view of the economy has become United Nations policy toward the internet. The Belmont Club blog notes that placing control of the Web into the hands of UN regulators will have far reaching negative consequences: One of the reasons the Internet has been so successful is that it has so far escaped the restraints of Filipino judges, Tunisian government officials and United Nations bureaucrats. Continue Reading...

Digital Rights Fiasco

The newest phase in the fight for digital/intellectual property rights involves the recent Digital Rights Management software from Sony. Apparently, Sony’s “protected” audio CDs have been installing a “rootkit” onto your computer, and opening up your computer to yet more malicious software on the Internet (as if it isn’t bad enough already without a Sony rootkit). Continue Reading...