Washington International Law Journal


Governments across the globe are grappling to find an appropriate and effective way to regulate Internet activity. Singapore's experience with Internet regulation is particularly instructive, illustrating the inherent tension when a government simultaneously champions the Net's commercial, educational, and social potential while attempting to protect its population from material that offends the community's normative sensibility. Singapore has enacted regulations that require Internet Service Providers to filter content at the network level through the use of proxy servers. In addition, Singapore has issued an Internet Code of Practice that establishes the framework for acceptable speech in cyberspace. In the United States, Congress faces a similar struggle: constructing an appropriate legislative response to issues posed by the Internet while balancing competing interests of free speech and community values. Despite political, cultural, and social differences between Singapore and the United States, both nations' fledgling attempts to regulate the Internet have been driven by similar goals and have led to remarkably similar conclusions. Regulation in cyberspace presents challenges that transcend national idiosyncrasies and will potentially push divergent nations toward a common legal regime in which a limited market-driven response might provide the most effective instrument of control.

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