This chapter examines and contemplates law and culture in cyberspace. The role of law and indeed the rule of law have different dynamics in cyberspace as a consequence of the architecture of cyberspace and its anonymous, pseudonymous and borderless features. The resultant structural balance among technology, law and culture may be expressed as the ‘rule of cyberspace’. This spatial dimension, economic influence on human culture and the role of law and regulation together form a subculture which both impacts on and moulds electronic commerce.
First, the nature of cyberspace is examined. This is followed by consideration of theoretical bases for law and order in cyberspace. The rule of cyberspace emerges, by processes known as ‘spontaneous order’, from the environmental factors fashioning cyberspace. It is spontaneous order which best describes – and to a limited extent predicts – regulation for electronic commerce.
This chapter examines the juxtaposition of culture and cyberspace, a modern application of spontaneous order, and then uses a discussion of libertarian and classical approaches to predict the future of cyberspace.
Cultural and environmental juxtaposition with cyberspace
Human interaction tends towards order and has an aversion to chaos. Culture brings about communities, law, order and stability. And so it is for cyberspace and the rule of cyberspace.
Cyberspace is infused with a kind of spontaneous order , and has thus evolved protocols through public participation. No one controls cyberspace. There are many stakeholders and users, all with their own agendas, impacts and influences. Customs, usages and structure have emerged from human action and interaction, but not human command. Organising bodies do not know the diverse predilections and demands of the participants. The size, direction, extent and use of cyberspace have challenged forecasters. By incalculable actions and inputs - spontaneous order - cyberspace has gained structure and presence.