Document Type


Publication Title

Texas Law Review



Publication Date



privacy, data, internet


Historically, law and government regulation have established default rules for information policy, including constitutional rules on freedom of expression and statutory rights of ownership of information. This Article will show that for network environments and the Information Society, however, law and government regulation are not the only source of rule-making. Technological capabilities and system design choices impose rules on participants. The creation and implementation of information policy are embedded in network designs and standards as well as in system configurations. Even user preferences and technical choices create overarching, local default rules. This Article argues, in essence, that the set of rules for information flows imposed by technology and communication networks form a “Lex Informatica” that policymakers must understand, consciously recognize, and encourage.

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