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One of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, the [[information]] industry is spearheading national and international economic growth and enhancing every country's competitive position in the international marketplace. The economic stakes raised by the new technologies are particularly high for the [[copyright]] industries — publishing and other industries that rely on the legal protections provided by [[copyright law]]. The amount of financial damage that these industries suffer due to infringements of [[intellectual property right]]s is extremely hard to estimate.
 
One of the fastest growing sectors of the economy, the [[information]] industry is spearheading national and international economic growth and enhancing every country's competitive position in the international marketplace. The economic stakes raised by the new technologies are particularly high for the [[copyright]] industries — publishing and other industries that rely on the legal protections provided by [[copyright law]]. The amount of financial damage that these industries suffer due to infringements of [[intellectual property right]]s is extremely hard to estimate.
   
== Social and personal ==
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== Social and Personal ==
   
[[Information]] is a dominant force in our lives. In the United States, an enormous amount of [[information]] is [[communicate]]d in the form of words through [[electronic media]]. In the 1970s, for example, it was estimated that the American population was exposed to about 8.7 trillion words each day through [[electronic media]] such as [radio]], [[television]], and [[print media]] such as [[newspaper]]s, [[book]]s, and [[magazine]]s. This figure has risen each year; the number of words [[communicate]]d increases at an average rate of 1.2% per year. And the fastest growing [[media]] for [[transmit]]ting and receiving [[information]] today is the [[Internet]].
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[[Information]] is a dominant force in our lives. In the United States, an enormous amount of [[information]] is communicated in the form of words through electronic media. In the 1970s, for example, it was estimated that the American population was exposed to about 8.7 trillion words each day through electronic media such as radio, television. and print media such as newspapers, books, and magazines. This figure has risen each year; the number of words communicated increases at an average rate of 1.2% per year. And the fastest growing media for transmitting and receiving [[information]] today is the [[Internet]].
   
[[Information]], in all forms, is essential to all facets of our lives. It is the principal resource we use to meet our personal needs: coping with day-to-day problems; dealing with life's traumas and crises; supporting religion, family life, and cultural heritage; and accommodating our recreation, entertainment, and leisure time needs. Never in history have we had the opportunity to be so fully and currently informed about world, national, and local affairs.
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[[Information]], in all forms, is essential to all facets of our lives. It is the principal resource we use to meet our personal needs: coping with day-to-day problems; dealing with life’s traumas and crises; supporting religion, family life, and cultural heritage; and accommodating our recreation, entertainment, and leisure time needs. Never in history have we had the opportunity to be so fully and currently informed about world, national, and local affairs.
   
Given the central importance of [[information]], the public has high stakes in decisions about the protection of and [[access]] to that [[information]]. Moreover, the public has high expectations about how [[technology]] can serve its [[information]] needs.
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Given the central importance of [[information]], the public has high stakes in decisions about the protection of and access to that [[information]]. Moreover, the public has high expectations about how technology can serve its [[information]] needs.
   
 
== Political ==
 
== Political ==
 
 
In democratic societies, citizens must be well informed about issues, candidates for office, and local affairs. Similarly, a democratic polity requires a well-informed citizenry. Increasingly, [[information technology|information]] and [[communications technologies]] serve these [[information]] needs. The government regularly needs huge amounts of [[information]] to make complex legal and policy decisions. Many government agencies would find it impossible to conduct their daily business without resorting to customized [[information]] on demand. The [[Internal Revenue Service]] and the [[Social Security Administration]], for example, require large [[automated information system]]s to handle the accounts of hundreds of millions of clients. And the operation of national defense depends on the use of complex [[communications system]]s both for day-to-day management of the military establishment and for the command and control of sophisticated weaponry.
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In democratic societies, citizens must be well informed about issues, candidates for office, and local affairs. Similarly, a democratic polity requires a well-informed citizenry. Increasingly, [[information technology|information]] and [[communications technologies]] serve these [[information]] needs. The government regularly needs huge amounts of [[information]] to make complex legal and policy decisions. Many government agencies would find it impossible to conduct their daily business without resorting to customized [[information]] on demand. The Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration, for example, require large [[automated information system]]s to handle the accounts of hundreds of millions of clients. And the operation of national defense depends on the use of complex [[communications system]]s both for day-to-day management of the military establishment and for the command and control of sophisticated weaponry.
   
Citizens' groups and political parties are also relying more heavily on the new [[technologies]] to achieve their aims. [[Technology]], for example, is being used to target voters and potential supporters, [[communicate]] with voters, manage [[information]], and even to design campaign strategies. [[Computer]]s are also being used as lobbying tools.
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Citizens’ groups and political parties are also relying more heavily on the new technologies to achieve their aims. Technology, for example, is being used to target voters and potential supporters, communicate with voters, manage [[information]], and even to design campaign strategies. [[Computer]]s are also being used as lobbying tools.
   
 
== Conclusion ==
 
== Conclusion ==
   
In each of these realms — economic, social, and political — the stakes in the information technology law debate are rising as fast as the [[technologies]] are becoming more technically sophisticated and widely used.
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In each of these realms — economic, social, and political — the stakes in the information technology law debate are rising as fast as the technologies are becoming more technically sophisticated and widely used.
   
 
== References ==
 
== References ==
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