Information Policy

Prof. Yale Braunstein

IS 221

Spring 2006


[Specific topics will depend, to some extent, on the interests of the class. This reference list is designed to be both a preliminary course outline and a useful starting point for research in several policy- related areas.

Color coding:

  • Items highlighted in bold will be the basis for class discussions
  • Bold and blue are included in the course reader
  • Bold and green have web links
NOTE: Several of the readings are in: (M. Jussawalla), Communication and Trade (edited by D. Lamberton, Hampton Press, 1998).]
Last updated: 9 February 2006.

1. Background on Information Policy--Domestic

S. Braman, "Defining information: An approach for policy makers," Telecommunications Policy, Sept. 1989, pp. 233-42.

C. Shapiro & H. Varian, "U.S. Government Information Policy," Available at:

 L. R. Schiff, Informed Consent: Information Production and Ideology (Lanham, MD & Oxford: Scarecrow Press, 2003).

Older references that may provide additional insights:

 Paul Starr, The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications (Basic Books: New York, 2004), pp. 1-19 and 191-230.

I. Rowlands & S. Vogel, Information Policies: A Sourcebook (London: Taylor Graham, 1991).

M. R. Rubin, Information Economics and Policy in the U.S. (Littleton, CO: Libraries Unltd., 1983). Selected chapters.

V. Rosenberg, "National Information Policies" in M. E. Williams, ed., ASIS Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Vol. 17 (Knowledge Industry Publications, White Plains, NY, 1982) p. 3-32.

J. Yurow, et al., Issues in Information Policy, NTIA, U.S. Dept. of Commerce (NTIA-SP-80-9), 1981.

Yochai Benkler, "Intellectual property and the Organization of Information Production." (Updated) Available at:

S. Nora & A. Minc, L'informatisation de la Societe (La Documentation Francaise, 1978); translated as The Computerization of Society (MIT Press, 1980). [The introduction by Daniel Bell is particularly interesting.]

NewCheryl Buchwald,  "Canada in Context: An Overview of Information Policies in Four Industrialized Countries" (November 1995).  Available at: and at: (Covers US, UK, France, and the EU as well as Canada. The section on France has good summary of Nora and Minc.)

2. Background on Information Policy--International

Ithiel de Sola Pool, "A Shadow Darkens," Chapter 1 in Technologies of Freedom,  (Belknap/Harvard Univ. Press, 1983).

The Bangemann Report. Europe and the Global Information Society: Recommendations to the European Council, May 5, 1994.
(updated) Available at:
(Alternate locations: and )

NewG. Mastrini and D. de Charras, "Twenty Years Mean Nothing: From NWICO to WSIS" Global Media and Communication (Dec 2005; Vol. 1, pp. 273 - 288).   Available at:

K. W. Grewlich, "The Power of Global Communication: Data Highways and Multimedia-Competition and Cooperation," in (M. Jussawalla).

N. D. Karunaratne, " "Policy Challenges in the Emergent Borderless World," in (M. Jussawalla).

M. Kirby, "The Human Genome Project-Promise or Problems?" in (M. Jussawalla).

[Aspen Institute] Bits Across Borders: Policy Choices for International Multimedia and Digital Services (1996).

G. Shultz, "The Shape, Scope, and Consequences of the Age of Information." Current Policy No. 811, Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Dept. of State, March 21, 1986 (4 pp.).

J. Bortnick, "National and International Information Policy," Jour. Amer. Soc. Inf. Sci. 36: 164-68 (May 1985).

Canadian-U.S. Conference on Communications Policy, Cultures in Collision (New York: Praeger, 1984).

3.    Digital Convergence--a Variety of Aspects and Views

(A)    The Mass Media, Common Carriage, Media Ownership

Rob Frieden, "What Do Pizza Delivery and Information Services Have in Common? Lessons From Recent Judicial and Regulatory Struggles with Convergence,"  presented at The Wharton Colloquium on Media and Communications, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Oct. 27-28, 2005); available at:

Eli Noam,  "The Impending Doom of Common Carriage" (March 15, 1994 ), 18 Telecommunications Policy 435 (1994).   Available at:

New!FCC Media Bureau,  Further Report on the Packaging and Sale of Video Programming Services to the Public (Feb. 9, 2006). Press release available at:    Full report at: [You may want to compare this with the earlier report from 2004, which is still available at: ]

T. J. Brennan, "Integrating Communication Theory into Media Policy: An Economic Perspective," Telecommunications Policy 16: 460-474 (Aug. 1992)

B. M. Compaine, Anatomy of the Communications Industry: Who Owns the Media?, (White Plains: Knowledge Ind. Publ., 1983). (Earlier versions titled Who Owns the Media?.)

B. M. Owen, The Economics of the Freedom of Expression (Lexington, 1975). [Out of print & generally unavailable-but a classic.  Especially relevent to the continuing debate on media concentration.

(B)   Broadband Industry Structure

OECD, Communications Outlook 2005 (OECD: Paris, 2005), pp. 123-164.

Rob Frieden, “Lessons from broadband development in Canada, Japan, Korea and the United States,” Telecommunications Policy, 2005 (29), pp. 595-613. Earlier version available at:

My favorite statement on the NII: "The National Information Infrastructure is currently inactive. For historical and research purposes the following information will remain available online for six months."  (updated)  (No longer available at US government web sites, but archived by the "way back machine" at:

William J. Clinton & Albert Gore, Jr., "A Framework for Global Electronic Commerce." Available at:

W. S. Baer, "Government Investment in Telecommunications Infrastructure," in National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, The Changing Nature of Telecommunications/ Information Infrastructure (1995 ).

R. E. Kahn, "Economic Dividends of Government Investment in Research and Technology Development," in NRC, The Changing Nature...(1995)

J. A. Hart, R. R. Reed & F. Bar, "The Building of the Internet: Implications for the Future of Broadband Networks," Telecommunications Policy 16: 666-689 (Nov. 1992)

M. Kapor, Building the Open Road: The NREN as Test-Bed for the National Public Network (Network Working Group RFC-1259, September 1991); Available at:

National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Keeping the U.S. Computer Industry Competitive (2 vols., 1990).

Amy Friedlander, "Infrastructure: The Utility of Past as Prologue?" in Fostering Research on the Economic and Social Impacts of Information Technology.(Washington D.C.: National Academy Press, 1998) 165-187.

M. Jussawalla & R. D. Taylor, ed., Information Technology Parks of the Asia Pacific (M. E. Sharpe, 2003).

NewNational Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Signposts in Cyberspace: The Domain Name System and Internet Navigation (National Academies Press, 2005).

(C)   Infrastructure and New Technologies (VoIP,  mobile, etc.)

Kas Kalba, Telecom in the Time of Crash, Program on Information Resources Policy, Harvard University, November 2002, Cambridge, MA. Available at:\kalba-i02-2.pdf). 

ITU,  “VoIP around the world,” ITU News 1, 2005,  pp. 9-12.

Jeff Tyson and Robert Valdes, How VoIP Works. (updated)Available at: .

Global Internet Policy Initiative, Voice-over-IP: The Future of Communications, April 2002. Available at:

Richard Ling and Birgitte Yttri, eds., Perpetual contact: mobile communication, private talk, public performance (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

James B. Murray, Jr., Wireless Nation: The Frenzied Launch of the Cellular Revolution in America (Perseus Publishing: Cambridge, MA, 2001), esp. pp. 209-250 and 267-323.

Yale M. Braunstein and Kas Kalba, “Reviewing 3G ‘Optimism’: Services, Segments and Stages of Reality,” paper presented at the 8th International Workshop on Mobile Multimedia Communications, October 5-8, 2003, Munich, Germany.

(D)   Access, Universal Service, Interconnection

[As a topic, universal service includes aspects of several issues, including access to information, public vs. private provision, user fees, the functioning of markets, and common carrier policy. Below are a few interesting cites and a link to the FCC's Universal Service home page.]

Rob Frieden, "Killing With Kindness: Fatal Flaws in the Universal Service Funding Mission and What Should be Done to Narrow the Digital Divide",  presented at the 33nd Annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Virginia (Sep. 24, 2005).  Available at:

M. Mueller & J. Schement, "Universal Service from the Bottom Up: A Profile of Telecommunications Access in Camden, New Jersey," The Information Society, 12: (1996).

M. Mueller, "Universal Service in Telephone History: a Reconstruction," Telecommunications Policy 18:352-69 (July 1993).

U. S. Federal Communications Commission, Common Carrier Bureau,
Available at:

(E)  Web Neutrality

California Public Utilities Commission, Press Release on Revised Consumer Bill of Rights (Dec. 29, 2005). Available at:

4. General Consumer Issues (including Health and Medicine)

National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, For the Record: Protecting Electronic Health Information (1997).

State of Michigan web page with tips and sources about evaluating Internet-based health and medical information:  (updated)

Samples of sites that assist in online diagnosis for mental illness:  [Important: see all disclaimers below!]

H. B. Noble, "E-Medicine--A special report: Hailed as a Surgeon General, Koop is faulted on web ethics." New York Times, Sept. 5, 1999.

New  Health On the Net Foundation is the leading organization promoting and guiding the deployment of useful and reliable online medical and health information, and its appropriate and efficient use. Created in 1995, HON is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, accredited to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

5. Ownership of Information: Property Rights (with an emphasis on databases)

R. H. Coase, "The Problem of Social Cost," Jour. of Law and Economics 3: 1 (1960). [A good discussion is in: "School's Brief: Of Bees and Lighthouses," The Economist (Feb. 23, 1991), pp. 72-73.]

Y. M. Braunstein, Economic Impacts of Database Protection in Developing Countries Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, World Intellectual Property Organization (Geneva, 2002). Available at:

Alternative views available at:

More general:

William M. Landes & Richard A. Posner, The Economic Structure of Intellectual Property LawCambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2003. [Reviewed by Y. Braunstein, Jour. Econ. Lit., Vol. 42 (No. 4), pp. 1147-49 (December 2004); available at:  ]

[See also the first two readings in Section 11.]

6. Intellectual Freedom

J.-P. Chamoux, "Free Speech and Property Rights," in (M. Jussawalla).

D. E. Denning & H. S. Lin, eds., Rights and Responsibilities of Participants in Networked Communities, National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (1994).

P. Wilson, "Copyright, Derivative Rights, and the First Amendment," Library Trends 39:92-110 (Special Issue on Intellectual Freedom, Summer/Fall 1990).

7. Access to Information

C. A. Lynch, "Future Roles of Libraries in Citizen Access to Information Resources through the National Information Infrastructure," in National Research Council, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, The Changing Nature of Telecommunications/Information Infrastructure (1995).

U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Informing the Nation: Federal Information Dissemination in an Electronic Age (Washington, D.C.: USGPO, 1988. OTA-CIT-396).

Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1989 (Special issue discussing the OTA report).

P. Hernon and C. R. McClure, Public Access To Government Information: Issues, Trends, And Strategies, 2nd ed. (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1988).

American Library Association, Commission on Freedom and Equality, Freedom And Equality Of Access To Information: A Report To The American Library Association (Chicago: ALA, 1986). (Referred to as Lacy Commission Report.)

N. L. Eaton, "Freedom and Equality of Access to Information: The Lacy Commission Report," Library Trends 39:111-25 (1990).

8. Privacy

J. H. Moor, "The Ethics of Privacy Protection," Library Trends 39:69-82 (1990).

R. W. Kastenmeier, et al., "Communications Privacy: A Legislative Perspective," Wisconsin Law Review   :715-37 (1989). (An account of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.)

F. Weingarten, "Communications Technology: New Challenges to Privacy," John Marshall Law Review 21:735-53 (1988).

U. S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, The Electronic Supervisor: New Technologies, New Tensions (Washington, D.C.: USGPO, 1987)

U. S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Electronic Surveillance and Civil Liberties (Washington, D.C.: USGPO, 1985. OTA-CIT-293.)

T. Baker, "Does Privacy Have a Principle," Stanford Law Review 26: 1161-89 (1974).

9. Public vs. Private Provision of Information

Information Industry Association, "Meeting Information Needs in the New Information Age: A Policy Statement on the Roles of the Public and Private Sectors." (Washington, DC: IIA, 1983).

D. D. McDonald, "Public Sector/Private Sector Interaction in Information Services" in M.E. Williams, ed., ASIS Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Vol 17, p. 83-98 (1982).

U. S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, Public Sector/Private Sector Interaction in Providing Information Services. 1982

10. User Fees for Government-Provided Information

M. D. Cooper & N. A. DeWath, "The Effect of User Fees on the Cost of On-Line Searching in Libraries" in D. W. King, et al., Key Papers in the Economics of Information (White Plains: Knowledge Ind. Publ., 1983).

N. A. Van House, Public Library User Fees (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983)

C. A. Casper, "Economic Pricing Models and Their Application to Library Services" in R. M. Mason & J. E. Creps, Jr., Information Services: Economics, Management, and Technology (Boulder: Westview Press, 1981).

11. Information Markets

R. K. Filer, "A Theoretical Analysis of the Impact of Artists' Resale Royalties Legislation," Jour. of Cultural Economics, Summer 1984.

S. M. Besen, et al., "Copyright Liability for Cable Television: Compulsory Licensing and the Coase Theorem," Jour. of Law and Economics 21:67-95 (1978).

N. Economides, "Competition Policy in Network Industries: An Introduction," in Dennis Jansen (ed.), The New Economy: Just How New is It (University of Chicago Press, 2003), .  Available at:

12. Standards, Elements of Industrial Policy

N. Economides, "Compatibility and the Creation of Shared Networks," in Guerrin-Calvert & Wildman (1991). Available at:

H. L. Gandel, ed., Product Standardization and Competitive Strategy (Amsterdam & New York: Elsevier, 1987).

Y. M. Braunstein & L. White, "Economics of Technical Compatibility Standards," Antitrust Bulletin 30:337 (1985).  Available at:

13. RFID

New! San Francisco Public Library, Technology & Privacy Advisory Committee, RFID and the SFPL: Summary Report (October  2005).  Link available at:

14. Trans-border Data Flows

[See also cites in International section above.]

M. Jussawalla, et al., "Major Issues in Information Services Trade," in C. H. Lee and S. Naya, Trade and Investment in Services in the Asia-Pacific Region (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1987).

P. Robinson, "Transborder Data Flows: An Overview of the Issues," in Transborder Data Flows (North-Holland for OECD, 1985).

Peter Cowhey, "Building the Global Information Highway: Toll Booths, Construction Contracts, and Rules of the Road," in Drake, William J. ed., The New Information Infrastructure: Strategies for US Policy. (20th Century Press, 1995) 175-204

15. National Security

New Stayed tuned for additional links as this is an evolving topic:

Presidential Authority to Conduct Warrantless Electronic Surveillance to Gather Foreign Intelligence Information -- January 5, 2006.  Available at:

U. S. Department of Homeland Security, National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace,  (GPO, 2003).  Available at: .

U. S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Defending Secrets, Sharing Data: New Locks and Keys for Electronic Information (Washington, D.C.: USGPO, 1990. OTA-CIT-310.

S. N. Milevski, "Federal Policy-Making and National Security Controls on Information," Library Trends 39:132-44


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Page last updated: 7 Feb 2006