Technology is doing today what governments throughout history have failed to do: create a test bed for unrestrained liberty.
The Internet gives equal voice to everyone regardless of their virtue or intent. The most benevolent and altruistic forces meet on a level field with the most predatory and evil, with only the nature of Man to act as referee.
If put to the task, virtually limitless resources and ingenuity distributed around the world will quickly subvert any attempt to restrict the free exchange of knowledge and ideas. In the same manner, the Internet is also a proving ground for the free market. If demand for any product or service exists, people will quickly find a way to supply it.
For the first time in history we have the opportunity to see what becomes an institution unfettered by regulation. Whether we are ready for such an experiment is moot.
As is to be expected, the early stages have been rife with abuse. In every previous experiment with a free market, governments have taken control to put an end to abuses. Whether their intentions are benign or self-seeking is beside the point because the result is the same: the experiment prematurely ends with nothing being learned.
Government regulation is built on the assumption that it is necessary to impose restrictions on everybody in order to curtail the actions of a deviant few. Inevitably the harm that causes the well-intentioned far outweighs any results achieved.
Morality and virtuosity are amorphous concepts at best, and they cannot be instilled by edict. They have meaning only in the collective sense of what is right and wrong. How each of us chooses to live our individual lives should be a decision based on what we believe to be in our best interests.
If the things we do are unacceptable to those around us, our lives will be more difficult and less fulfilling. Human beings are by nature selfish. We crave acceptance, comfort, meaning, and security in our lives. Left to our own devices, we will do what we must to secure an enduring presence of such things.
No society can be expected to endure what could be generations of misery to reach such an ideal, however, when the only assurance of the outcome are the musings of a few idealists. Perhaps technology will provide us with a window to that future.