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Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2015 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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Time for a new world order?

17 April 2015

What's this? Aardvark advocating a new world order? Heresy for sure!

Surely the "new world order" is a concept associated with totalitarian government which seeks to control as many people as possible and that flies in the face of my own personal beliefs in personal responsibility and the freedoms of the individual?

Well I'm not talking about a political "new world order", I'm talking about the creation of a global domain in which there is a consistency of law, taxation and other regulation.

Sounds impossible right?

Perhaps it is... but it may ultimately be inevitable and the only way we'll be able to continue, given the massive power that technology is delivering.

Look at all the kerfuffle over broadcasting rights for video media for example...

We're seeing the concept of physical geography clashing head-on with the amorphous, borderless nature of the internet. On the one side we have "old school" businesses that are used to operating in a geographically isolated environment and on the other we have a communications vehicle that knows no such geographical limitations and, where such limitations are artificially imposed, those mechanisms fail with the slightest pressure.

Clearly, a "new world order" would be the most satisfactory way to eliminate the tyranny of geography.

Then there's the vexing issue of taxation in an age where a company can sell its products online to eager buyers from just about any country on the planet. How do you ensure that taxes are paid and that everyone operates on a level playing field?

A "new world order" where taxation was consistent across the face of the Net would be the most logical option. If every country accepted the imposition of a (say) 10% sales tax on every online purchase then things would become a whole lot simpler and reconciliation could be done at a global level between individual nations in the blink of an eye.

Then there are the issues surrounding such difficult (and often conflicting) laws as copyright.

Although there are international treaties (such as the Berne Convention), there is also a huge variance between the ways various countries handle the issues of DRM, format-shifting, fair use and the like. One consistent set of copyright laws that prevailed across the internet would be a great way to deliver surety and consistency to rights-holders and consumers alike.

The bottom line is that perhaps "Cyberspace" should be recognised as a nation and given a seat at the UN. The population of cyberspace is far bigger than the population of any individual nation so it should be represented and have rights.

Until we accept this fact, the ability to leverage the Net to its greatest effect (as opposed to a replacement for broadcast TV) will be severely limited.

Will the concept of cyberspace as a "place" with a "population" and its own jurisdiction ever be accepted by individual nations?

Should it?

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