Leafleting and Picketing on the “Cydewalk” – Four Models of the Role of the Internet in Labour Disputes

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Part I of this paper examines the work of Cass Sunstein and others who are of the view that the Internet tends to create balkanization of opinion and fosters and supports extremist groups. Noah Zatz’s proposal for an electronic sidewalk, (referred to in this paper as the “cydewalk”) is then evaluated in terms of how it may counteract these problems. Part II of the paper categorizes the academic writings on Internet regulation as four schools of thought: 1) The Secessionist Libertarians, 2) The Anti-Anarchists, 3) The Open-Source Regulators and 4) The Telecosmic Futurists. This part of the paper then shows how each school would likely view the cydewalk proposal, and what modifications it would make to it. Part III of the paper examines the trends in the constitutional and labour relations jurisprudence and how they would affect the various models of the cydewalk posited by the four schools of thought. Part IV of the paper summarizes the potential problems with each variation of the cydewalk proposal. It indicates that the Telecosmic Futurists’ preference for letting the marketplace govern the Internet would be the best paradigm, since employers and trade unions would mutually benefit from entering into cydewalk agreements.

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