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22 April 2014, Cavalieri Hotel, St. Julians, Malta Legal Issues in the Digital Age Dr Oleksandr (Alex) Pastukhov Senior Lecturer Dept. of Information.

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Presentation on theme: "22 April 2014, Cavalieri Hotel, St. Julians, Malta Legal Issues in the Digital Age Dr Oleksandr (Alex) Pastukhov Senior Lecturer Dept. of Information."— Presentation transcript:

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2 22 April 2014, Cavalieri Hotel, St. Julians, Malta Legal Issues in the Digital Age Dr Oleksandr (Alex) Pastukhov Senior Lecturer Dept. of Information Policy & Governance

3 Internet-related regulatory issues Who owns [or otherwise controls] the information Intellectual property (copyright, database right, patents, know-how, etc.) Personal data How to conclude contracts online E-commerce Jurisdiction Evidence How to control user behaviour Cybercrime Libel/defamation

4 What is so new about the Internet? Does not [fully] belong to anyone Is not [entirely] controlled by anyone Based on open standards Recognises no borders [Almost] instantaneous [Perceived] anonymous Low entry barrier Relies on cooperation rather than subordination Marketplace of ideas Created an egalitarian environment

5 Internet governance “the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet” [UN WG on Internet Governance 2005]

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7 Forms of regulation Law (rules created and/or sanctioned by state) Other social normative systems (custom, usage, (N)etiqette, morals, ethics, religion, etc.) Self-regulation Private regulation Co-regulation Public-private partnership (PPP) Standardization (Lessig: code is law) Laissez-faire

8 What is law? An instrument of oppression A way of imposing one’s will upon others A method of keeping order in society A system of social rules/norms Created/sanctioned by the state/government Addressed to indefinite number of actors Mandatory for every person within a jurisdiction

9 The Internet and PPP From the government to the private sector and back ARPANET ( ) NSFNET ( ) Private ISPs (from 1989) From laissez-faire to regulation Yet one can’t do without private initiative

10 Internet Private Regulation Telecom/electric engineering International Telecommunications Union (ITU) International Consultative Committee on Telephone and Telegraphy (CCITT) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Internet governance per se ICANN W3C IETF ISOC

11 Internet Governance Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) started, tasked with developing Internet standards, primarily TCP/IP suite Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) established. Ran DNS under a contract between Uni. of South. Cal./Information Systems Institute and DoD until 1998, when IANA became part of ICANN Internet Society (ISOC) founded "to promote the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world” members, 130 organizations grouped into 90 chapters World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) established. Consortium of 379 WWW standardisation organisations

12 ICANN mandate Sept established as a non-profit corporation "for charitable and public purposes" under the California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law Feb. 8, 2000 – Contract between DoC and ICANN for running DNS. Extended in 2003, 2006, 2011 September 29, ICANN signed MoU with DoC under which control over the root zone is retained by DoC who must approve all changes to the root zone file requested by ICANN July DoC has "no plans to transition management of the authoritative root zone file to ICANN" Mar. 14, DoC announced its intent to transition key DNS functions to global multistakeholder community

13 ICANN Bylaws Board of Directors has the authority to manage, control, and represent the organization. The subsidiary Advisory Committees are entrusted with processes of policy formulation and have only an advisory function to the Board. Advisory Committees consist of Supporting Organisations(IETF, SSAC, RSSAC) which represent mainly technical and commercial interests: At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), which provides advice on the activities of ICANN, insofar as they relate to the interests of individual Internet users (ICANN 2012; Art. XI, 2.4 a); and the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), which provides advice on the activities of ICANN relating to concerns of governments. In particular, GAC concerns itself in matters where ICANN’s policies and various laws and international agreements need to be harmonized, or where ICANN’s policies may affect public policy issues (ICANN 2012; Art. XI, 2.1 a).

14 Governments Catching Up Copyright – WIPO, WTO, EU Cybercrime – Council of Europe, Interpol Domain names – WIPO, ITU Contracts – UNCITRAL, UNIDROIT Privacy – EU, Council of Europe Standardization – ITU, ISO Internet governance generally – WSIS, IGF [UN]

15 Lex Electronica? Medieval Lex Mercatoria Emergence in feudal Europe Reception by national legal systems and international law New Lex Mercatoria Advent after WWII, reaction to protectionism Applicable to e-commerce Similar Legal Systems Sports law Air and space law

16 Conclusions The old legal, social, technological, economic paradigms are becoming irrelevant Creative chaos becomes counterproductive The industry will crave for rules, but not necessarily state-made ones

17 Recommendations Law to be made adaptive and flexible Technology-neutral language to be used Cost of transition to be assessed Lock-in to be avoided Enforcement through law, technology, economics and changing culture

18 Thank you for your attention! Web:


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