Raiding the net: Is there a need for an information highway patrol?
The public debate on the regulation of the Internet and on cryptography policy during the last years has shown a conflict between the authorities' goal of crime prevention and the net users' need for privacy and net security. In this paper, this conflict is examined from an economic point of view. The paper starts with a short description of the different needs and goals of private users and the authorities. Then the state‐of‐the‐art of encryption technology and its implications for illegal and criminal use of the Internet are discussed. The analytical core follows next; it consists of a game theoretical model of the interaction between the authorities and private users where the degree of regulation of the Internet will be derived. Thereby it is taken into account that private users will react to any state intervention by choosing an appropriate level of Internet use. On this basis, the proposed state interventions will be evaluated. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999
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