Tech changes challenge law

Technology advances have often challenged existing laws - which can get in the way of progress, or be inadequate to address new issues. A book has just been published (which I have not read) entitled The Laws of Disruption that   "explores, ten years into the Internet revolution, what has happened to social, political, and legal systems that now lag dangerously far behind."

Laws have always lagged behind technology advances - that's just a natural result.  But technology advances are happened much faster than ever before.   See, for example, the stats in this popular Socialnomics video.

Consider issues that arise from such things as pervasive public surveillance, Google street, access to huge amounts of information on anything and anyone, communication tools like twitter, skype, and Google voice, cloud computing, cheap terabyte drives, mobile computing, crowdsourcing, music and video sharing.   These advances, and others, challenge not only laws (such as privacy, ownership, copyright) - but business models (such as how to make money selling music when it is no longer a scarce commodity), how we govern ourselves, how we interact with each other (consider what being a "friend" now means), how we learn, and who we trust.

The challenge is to keep the current rules (legal and other) in mind when dealing with anything new - but at the same time not being blindly tied to those rules so tightly that we fail to understand the implications and issues in the context of what is different.   As I've commented before, precedent is context, not an operating manual.