The Semantic Web and Information Flow: a Legal Framework

Download Full Text PDF

Volume 11, Issue 2 (Jun 2012)

Considered by many as the next key development in Internet technology, the semantic web has generated a lot of buzz recently. A creation of Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, the semantic web is a “web of data,” a technology that promises to provide the world with enhanced access to information through more efficient and sophisticated content indexing. There are, however, dangerous side-effects to the system. As a labeling system, the semantic web bears the potential to provide sophisticated new tools for enhanced control of information distribution by governments. Ironically, however, perhaps because Dr. Berners-Lee’s previous invention served as a catalyst of unrestrained information flow worldwide, there has been little if any analysis of the potential to use the semantic web as a tool of enhanced control. This paper aims at filling the gap, by unveiling unintentional externalities of content-tagging systems such as the semantic web from the standpoint of the free flow of and access to information and by alerting the computer science community that further work needs to be done as the semantic web is being developed, in order to minimize these externalities and further embed freedom in the technology.

Julien Mailland, The Semantic Web and Information Flow: a Legal Framework, 11 N.C. J.L. & Tech. 269 (2010), available at http://ncjolt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/13_11NCJLTech2692009-2010.pdf.

The North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology has adopted the Open Access Program, a part of the Scholar’s Copyright Project created by Science Commons. Authors designate the conditions under which their articles are licensed. By downloading articles, you agree to comply with the license terms specified. Please contact NC JOLT at eic.ncjolt@gmail.com with permissions inquiries.