Shaping Code

TitleShaping Code
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsKesan, J
Date PublishedSeptember

This article addresses how society shapes code. The term "code," as we use it, consists of the hardware and software components of information technologies. Code is increasingly being sought as a regulatory mechanism in conjunction with or as an alternative to law for addressing societal concerns such as crime, privacy, intellectual property protection, and revitalizing democratic discourse. This article analyzes how various societal institutions, that create code differentially, influence the technical and social characteristics of the code that is developed by them. The article also provides recommendations on how society can intervene and proactively shape the development of code to vindicate societal concerns and preferences.

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