Visiting Lecturer Will Link Louisiana Purchase to Cyberspace Law

October 08, 2009

October 8, 2009 — In his book "Jefferson's Moose," David Post, one of the nation's leading Internet scholars, presents a pithy, colorful exploration of the still mostly undiscovered territory of cyberspace – what it is, how it works and how it should be governed.

Post, the I. Herman Stern Professor of Law at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University, will speak Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the University of Virginia School of Law's Caplin Pavilion on "In Search of Jefferson's Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace."

In his book, Post makes the case that the Internet is today's great frontier, the modern era's great unmapped territory. So who better to help us think about that new frontier and how to govern it than the great philosopher/scientist/Renaissance man of America's early days, Thomas Jefferson himself?

In an almost cinematic style, the books moves seamlessly back and forth between the days of the Louisiana Purchase, when a vast and ungovernable wilderness lay to the West, and today's attempts by individuals and government to make sense of and manage the Internet.

The book's style is chatty and enthusiastic and easily accessible to the lay reader, even while the thinking behind it is deeply learned. Post jumps around from law to evolutionary theory, to the diplomatic history of the 19th century to Jefferson's torrid love affair with a British noblewoman.

Post teaches intellectual property law and the law of cyberspace. He is also an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a fellow at the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School and a contributor to the Volokh Conspiracy blog.