Best and Worst Internet Statutes

By Eric Goldman

At InformIT, I published an article ranking the best and worst Internet laws. The abstract: “Over the past dozen years, the lure of regulating the Internet has proven irresistible to legislators. In the spirit of good fun, Eric Goldman offers an opinionated list of personal votes for the best and worst Internet statutes in the United States.”

This list was fun to write, and I hope it stirs up some discussion about how we assess and rank legislative efforts to regulate the Internet. Before you check out the article, see if you can guess what I think are the best and worst laws, and let me know if my list surprised you (or go ahead and leave a comment there). If it makes a difference to your guesses, the Utah anti-keyword ad law came out while the article was in InformIT’s editing cycle, so I was only able to include a brief reference to it–I would probably rank it the second-worst law, substituting it for the current #2, although the law is so bad that it does put pressure on the #1 worst law’s ranking.