It’s my great pleasure to welcome Milton Mueller to the TLF as an occasional contributor. Milton is a professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Cyberlaw and Internet policy scholars are certainly familiar with Milton’s impressive body of research on communications, media, and high-tech issues over the past 25 years. You can find much of it on his website here. Regular readers of the TLF will also recall that I have praised Milton’s one-of-a-kind research on Internet governance issues, going so far as to label him the “de Tocqueville of cyberspace.” His work with the Internet Governance Project and the Global Internet Governance Academic Network is truly indispensable, and in books like Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace (2002) and his more recent Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance (2010), Milton brilliantly explores the forces shaping Internet policy across the globe. (Also, make sure to listen to this podcast that Jerry Brito did with Milton about the book and his ongoing research.)
More importantly, as I noted in my review of Network and States last year, Milton has sought to breathe new life into the old cyber-libertarian philosophy that was more prevalent during the Net’s founding era but has lost favor today. In the book, he notes that his “normative stance is rooted in the Internet’s early promise of unfettered and borderless global communication, and its largely accidental and temporary escape from traditional institutional mechanisms of control.” He has also given our little movement its marching orders, arguing that “we need to find ways to translate classical liberal rights and freedom into a governance framework suitable for the global Internet. There can be no cyberliberty without a political movement to define, defend, and institutionalize individual rights and freedoms on a transnational scale,” he says. Terrific stuff, and I very much look forward to Milton developing this framework in more detail here at the TLF in coming years.
Milton will continue to do much of his blogging over at the Internet Governance Project blog, but will drop by here on occasion to cross-post some of those writings or to comment on other pressing Internet policy issues of the day. Welcome to the TLF, Milton!