Law and the Internet


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Angela Daly - Workshop presenation at the CCIWS13

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  • Law and the Internet

    1. 1. Angela Daly Swinburne Institute for Social Research Law and the Internet
    2. 2. Swinburne SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN Law and the Internet - Brief description of relevant areas of law - Easterbrook J’s mid-1990s presentation on ‘Cyberspace and the Law of the Horse’ - is Internet law a discipline in itself? Is the Internet enough of a paradigm shift to merit its own legal studies? - How resilient are ‘legacy’ areas of law? Is the issue just that old school lawyers, legislators & law enforcement folk don’t understand technology? - Remember the gap between what’s written down as law & what happens in practice - Aim: what kind of laws you should be aware of when doing your research 2 Overview & introductory comments
    3. 3. Swinburne SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN Law and the Internet - International treaties – usually need to be ratified at the national level to become domestic law – in this area, international trade treaties which impact upon IP; cybercrime - Law of the sea – for ‘traditional’ piracy as opposed to the Pirate Bay - International criminal law: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes - Law of war – some tech issues such as drones - International human rights law: Universal Declaration of Human Rights & subsequent covenants and treaties – relevant for individual rights e.g. free expression, privacy 3 International law
    4. 4. Swinburne SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN Law and the Internet - Europe: - European Union: Charter of Fundamental Rights (includes free expression, privacy, data protection and intellectual property); various Treaties, then regulations & directives on topics such as e-commerce, DP etc - European Convention on Human Rights treaty, Council of Europe & Euro Court of Human Rights - Other parts of the world: American Convention on Human Rights; Mercosur; GCC, ASEAN etc - Regional free trade agreements 4 Regional laws
    5. 5. Swinburne SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN Law and the Internet - Wide variety of areas of national law which will impact on the Internet: - Intellectual property - Competition law - Media law - Sector-specific telecommunications regulation - Constitutional, administrative & human rights law - Criminal law - Other areas of civil/private law - Usually higher level of enforcement compared to int law National laws
    6. 6. Swinburne SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN Law and the Internet - Due to transnational nature of Internet, strong presence of the US & many transnational corporations which come from the US, US law reigns supreme - Often forms basis for online services’ terms of service contracts – regardless of where in the world the user is - EU law provides a little challenge on data protection & privacy – fundamental disagreement with US law on these issues – just look at the ‘unprecedented’ lobbying coming from US Chamber of Commerce & big tech corps vis-à-vis Data Protection Regulation under consideration in Brussels – EU is world’s biggest trading bloc 6 One law to rule them all: US law
    7. 7. Swinburne SCIENCE | TECHNOLOGY | INNOVATION | BUSINESS | DESIGN Law and the Internet - Fundamentally governance of the network – which still IS decentralised (from what I gather ;-) ) - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers aka ICANN: administers domain names & IP addresses – HQ in California - Internet Engineering Task Force aka IETF: develops & promotes Internet standards - Multistakeholder processes: different from traditional law- making vis-à-vis actors involved & transparency - These processes form part of a new area, ‘Global Administrative Law’ – but is this really law? Or ‘governance’? 7 Afterword: Internet Governance processes
    8. 8. Thank you!