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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17802

Title: Imagining the Internet and Making it Governable: Canadian Law and Regulation
Authors: Mopas, Michael S.
Advisor: Valverde, Mariana
Department: Criminology
Keywords: internet
actor network theory
science and technology studies
Issue Date: 25-Sep-2009
Abstract: This dissertation builds upon the existing body of criminological and socio-legal literature on Internet governance by looking at how this technology and its use are regulated in Canada. Rather than focusing on the regulation of specific web-based activities (e.g., illegal downloading, child luring, etc.) or the control of certain types of online content (e.g., hate speech, pornography, etc.), the dissertation considers the ways that regulatory bodies have responded to the emergence of this new medium. Three specific agencies involved in the governing of the Internet are studied in detail: The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Media Awareness Network (MNet) and the courts. Using a variety of theoretical and conceptual tools taken from both governmentality studies and Actor-Network Theory (ANT), the dissertation empirically documents how these agencies imagine the Internet and make it governable. Instead of searching for global accounts that look to either Society or Technology as a source of explanation for why the technology is governed in a particular fashion, this project examines how certain knowledges about the Internet and its regulation get produced in the first place. Attention is paid here to how these agencies initially problematize the Internet, the kinds of regulatory strategies and practices that have emerged and the general impact this has had for our understanding of the Internet and the way in which it should be governed. In keeping with the constructivist tradition in the field of Science and Technology Studies (S&TS), the dissertation approaches the regulation of the Internet as a site where the very nature of this technology – in terms of what it does, how it can be used and whether or not it can or should be regulated – gets invented and reinvented. However, rather than bracketing the building of the Internet from its governance, these processes are seen as mutually constitutive whereby the technology must be made governable in order to be governed. Consequently, given the many different and often competing visions about the Internet, the version that gets accepted (at least, momentarily) is shown to be crucial for how the technology is eventually received.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17802
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Centre of Criminology - Doctoral theses

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