What is Cyber Space?

The term ‘cyber space’ was first used by William Gibson in his science fiction ‘Neuromancer’ in 1982, which he later described as “an evocative and essentially meaningless buzzword that could serve as a cipher for all of his cybernetic musings. Now it is used to describe anything associated with computers, information technology, the internet and the diverse internet culture. Thus, “cyberspace’ is the electronic medium of computer networks, in which online communication takes place and where individuals can interact, exchange ideas, share information, provide social support, conduct business, direct actions, create artistic media, play games, engage in political discussions etc.[1]

According to Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer, cyberspace is defined more by social interactions involved rather than its technical implementation. The core characteristic is that must be an environment which consists of many participants with the ability to affect and influence each other. In cyberspace, the computational medium is an augmentation of the communication channel between real people.[2]

Thus, cyberspace may be described as a conceptual collegeum where world’s information resources come together without being seen or sensed.[3]

Features of Cyber Space

i. Just like the real world comprises the entire earth, cyberspace consists of the entire virtual world.

ii. The ICTs, computers and Internet Technology are expanding the boundaries of cyberspace day by day.

iii. According to an estimate, the Cyberspace is doubling every 100 days.

iv. Unlike the problems in the real world, it is very easy to roam around in the cyberspace on ‘information superhighways’.

v. The speed is tremendous, the reach is unlimited. There is ease of entry and exit.

vi. Very fewer resources are needed to enter cyberspace.

vii. It is easy to disguise one’s identity in cyberspace.

viii. Cyberspace and real world impact each other.

Courtesy:- Legal Point Foundation (LPF)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberspace#cite_note-1, accessed on 15.07.2009

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberspace#cite_note-3, accessed on 15.07.2009

[3] Asian School of Cyber Laws, Fundamentals of Cyber Law, 2005, p. 93.

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