IT policy in the U.S. goes back 100 years

The panel led by Melissa Hathaway that conducted the clean-slate cybersecurity review had only 60 days to gather its data and compile its findings, but you can't accuse it of not being thorough. Its Cyberspace Policy Review delves back to the 1840s, when the only programming language was Morse Code.

The United States has been involved in regulating cyberspace since it joined the International Telegraph Union in 1908. The Radio Act of 1912 regulated wireless spectrum licensing. Fifteen years later, the Federal Radio Commission was established, and the interception of private radio communications was outlawed. FRC was replaced by the Federal Communications Commission in 1934.

Since then, radio has gone from analog to digital, telephones have gone from wired to wireless, TV has gone from wireless to wired, and more of this traffic is riding on the Internet, although FCC remains the primary regulatory body for electronic communications.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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Reader Comments

Wed, Jun 24, 2009 Editor

Editor's note: The review can be found here:

Wed, Jun 24, 2009 Michael Shear Des Moines

Mr. Jackson, Could you please identify "what panel"? When it met? and Where I might download the review?

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