Application-Centered Internet Analysis

Tim Wu, Columbia Law School


Much Internet scholarship tends to analyze the Internet at an inappropriate level of abstraction; focusing on the Internet as one "medium," when – by design – nearly all of the significant facts for certain questions are to be found at the level of the application and its associated protocols. The article suggests that application-centered thinking makes a better tool for the hard Internet questions, such as First Amendment questions (such as filtering) and questions of private ordering.