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INET'98

Track 2 Social, Legal and Regulatory Policies

Internet of the Law or the Law of the Internet

Legal Realism and the Internet: Revolution or Social Contract? - Paper 308

C. Bruce BAIRD
Attorney at Law USA

This paper engages in and refines the debate over the manner in which the Internet, and particularly those who  provide and use it, should be regulated by government, if indeed some form of regulation is desirable or needed at all. More importantly, it also defines a way by which members of the Internet community can evaluate, identify, and respond to proposals that involve unwise or ineffective regulation.

In the absence of an overarching legal theory for dealing with the extraordinary innovation in global communications and commerce and attendant influences on social and economic relationships among all of humankind that characterizes the Internet, this paper focuses on the issue jurisprudentially, using some of the defined tools of reason and science that have evolved over the last two centuries.

These fundamental tests are then applied to some of the recent experiences in Internet regulation by governments in the United States, Germany, Singapore, and the People's Republic of China to obtain a global perspective for analysis. A series of conclusions is drawn, designed to sharpen and focus the debate on how to deal with this new and emerging global entity of bad laws and regulation that now threaten the growth, freedom, and vitality of the Internet.

The Case Against Internet Law - Paper 291

Jeffrey H. MATSUURA
NetGlobe Transit, Inc. USA

Jean-Pierre AUFFRET
American University USA

Legal institutions in many parts of the world have become preoccupied with creating laws and regulations directly applicable to the Internet and its applications. This trend is driven primarily by the following: misunderstanding of the Internet and its impact; fear of the Internet's potential impact; and desire by many public officials to be associated with the Internet. If allowed to continue, this trend is likely to result in the creation of unnecessary legal constraints, lead to inconsistent application of laws and regulations, and impede the development of commercial applications for the Internet. A more appropriate relationship between legal institutions and the Internet is one which views the Internet as a powerful tool of society, but not a target for specific legal control. As the Internet develops, every effort should be made first to apply existing legal principles to the new factual context presented by the Internet before attempting to craft new principles specifically for the Internet. It has not yet been demonstrated that there is a need for "Internet law." Instead, our legal institutions should endeavor to understand the Internet and its applications thoroughly enough to enable those institutions to apply existing legal principles and precedents to the novel fact situations presented by the Internet. The Internet should not be held "above" or "outside" of current legal requirements, but it also should not be the specific target of new legal constraints aimed directly at it.

Cyberlaw: How to Learn and Teach It

Gérald Page, PhD. , Master of Economics, Attorney

We live at the time of a key and turning point of the information society. If the traditional science community has been using the new communication technologies for many years, this has not been the case in teaching and research in the traditional human sciences, in particular the law.Financial ressources have not been devoted to it.

The info-revolution will compell new concepts in teaching and education in general, away from a few centuries of learning based on written documents, with the world as a potential audience of students and, due to the interactivity phenomenon, professors becoming also students and vice versa, in a new era of information sharing.

Legal teaching, research, and the teaching of legal research methods must rasp the change quickly. Cybercrime, for example, is perpatrated at the speed of light, as the courts move at the speed of law, the legal community having been educated essentially to apply the law and not to dynamically create it.

The proposed paper will review the international situation, emphasize the ifferences with regard to the North - South dialogue, and, using practical examples, suggest a new interactive, dynamic, interdisciplinary and international approach to the teaching of the law aiming at (1) educating lawyers and judges, (2) offering law students a dynamic education with the tools for both the application and the creation of the law, (3) and offering other members of the community an approach to new ethical standards.

On the long run, this will be the tool for worldwide legal harmonization, he only possible alternative to regulating the Internet. Vivat et cresceat lex cyberia !

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Democracy, Organization of Information and Content Control

From Chiapas to the World: Democracy, the Internet and the Organization of Information

The Governance of the Internet in Europe with Special Reference to Illegal and Harmful Content  - Paper 124

Clive WALKER
Yaman AKDENIZ
University of Leeds United Kingdom

This paper will explain in the context of the Internet the shift from a narrow concern with "governmentality" to a broader political and social "governance." The emergence of "Internet governance" entails a more diverse and fragmented regulatory network, with no presumption that the nodal points need be anchored primarily in nation-states. The paper will concentrate on the important developments within selected Member States of the European Union, especially the United Kingdom, and within the European Union itself in order to contribute to the debate on Internet communications policy and how governance and the Internet can reflexively act upon each other.

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Panel: European Governments and Control of Online Content

European Governments and Control of Online Content - Paper 381

Adam Clayton POWELL 3rd
Freedom Forum USA

David L. SOBEL
Electronic Privacy Information Center USA

This paper presents a panel discussion of freedom-of-expression issues arising on the Internet and the responses of European governments to the perceived problem of "harmful content." The panel will specifically address European Union initiatives by the EC and selected European nations and the development of the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) by the World Wide Web Consortium and other techniques for rating and filtering information.

Legal and Sociological Aspects of Internet Security

A Sociology of Hackers - Paper 010

Tim JORDAN
University of East London United Kingdom

Paul TAYLOR
Salford University UK

The rapid growth of a world-wide computer network and its increasing use for the construction both of online communities and for reconstructing existing societies, means that unauthorized computer intrusion, or hacking, has wide significance. The 1996 report of a computer raid on Citibank that netted around $10 million indicates the potential seriousness of computer intrusion. Other, perhaps more whimsical, examples are the attacks on the CIA World Wide Web site, in which its title was changed from Central Intelligence Agency to Central Stupidity Agency, or the attack on the British Labor Party's web-site, in which titles like "Road to the Manifesto" were changed to "Road to Nowhere." These hacks indicate the vulnerability of increasingly important computer networks and the anarchistic, or perhaps destructive, world-view of computer intruders. (Miller, Gow and Norton-Taylor)

It is correct to talk of a world-view because computer intrusions come not from random, obsessed individuals but from a community that offers networks and support, such as the long running magazines Phrack and 2600. At present the only outlines of this community have come through biographically based journalistic accounts of either specific events, such as the pursuit and capture of Kevin Mitnick (Shimomura, 1996, Littman, 1996, Goodell, 1996), or of the role such intrusions play in the development of computer networks. (Sterling, 1992) The disparate attitudes to hackers shown in the recent collection, High Noon on the Electronic Frontier, eloquently demonstrate the lack of a coherent perspective on hacking. (Ludlow) In short, there has been no detailed sociological investigation of this community. To do this an introduction is needed to the nature of computer-mediated communication and of the act of computer intrusion, the hack. Following this the hacking community will be explored in three sections: first, a profile of the number of hackers and hacks; second, an outline of its culture through the discussion of six different aspects of the hacking community; and third, an exploration of the community's construction of a boundary, albeit fluid, between itself, the computer underground, and its other, the computer security industry. Finally, a conclusion that draws all material together will be offered.

National Security and the Internet

Security Incidents on the Internet - Paper 410

John D. HOWARD
Sandia National Laboratories USA

This paper presents an analysis of trends in Internet security based on an investigation of 4,299 Internet security-related incidents reported to the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) from 1989 through 1995. Prior to this research, our knowledge of actual Internet security incidents was limited and primarily anecdotal. This research

1.developed a taxonomy to classify Internet attacks and incidents;
2.organized, classified, and analyzed CERT/CC incident records;
3.summarized the relative frequency of the use of tools and vulnerabilities, success in achieving access, and results of attacks;
4.estimated total Internet incident activity;
5.developed recommendations for Internet users and suppliers; and
6.developed recommendations for future research.

With the exception of denial-of-service attacks, security incidents were found to be increasing at a rate less than Internet growth. Estimates showed that most, if not all, severe incidents were reported to the CERT/CC, and that more than one out of three above average incidents (in terms of duration and number of sites) were reported. Estimates also indicated that a typical Internet site was involved in, at most, around one incident (of any kind) per year, and a typical Internet host in, at most, around one incident in 45 years. The probability of gaining privileged access was around an order of magnitude less likely. As a result, simple and reasonable security precautions should be sufficient for most Internet users.

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Dispute Resolution and Applicable Law

Internet Dispute Resolution Mechanisms and Applicable Law - Paper 117

Catherine KESSEDJIAN
Attorney at Law France

  1. What is the Internet for the Private International Lawyer?
  2. What consequences, if any, must be drawn from the fact that messages exchanged on the Internet may travel at random through numerous countries?
  3. When Primus, a company incorporated under the laws of Germany, contracts with Secundus, a company incorporated under the laws of New York, via the Internet, what law can they choose? We will assume the contract to be a simple sale of goods.
  4. Can Primus and Secundus decide in the contract which court will hear their potential dispute arising out of the contract? Can they choose arbitration? Can they provide for any alternative dispute resolution mechanism? Can they decide that the arbitral tribunal will meet virtually via the Internet?
  5. Secundus sold Primus' goods to end-users, via its Web site (the end-users access Secundus' Web site from all over the world). Some of Primus' goods are defective. Can end-users sue Secundus and, if so, where? Can end-users sue Primus, and, if so, where?
  6. Secundus is dissatisfied with Primus' products and is losing a lot of goodwill. Primus is a company known worldwide. In order to oblige Primus to act, Secundus uploads on its Web site criticisms on Primus' acts and on its management style. Primus considers these criticisms to be defamatory. What forum has jurisdiction to hear the case Primus vs. Secundus? Would the answer be different if Secundus were incorporated under the laws of Switzerland?
  7. In order to better know its client base, Secundus created a data bank, including many personal data on individuals who access its Web site. The French CNIL (Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés) happens to learn that Secundus' data bank includes information on 15,000 French nationals and that Secundus will use these data in a manner violating French law. Can the CNIL enforce French law against Secundus? If so how?
  8. Finally, if the answers to questions 1 to 7 are not satisfactory, can we think about "regulating" Internet through an International Treaty? If so, what kind of a Treaty should be prepared? Which Organization(s) should take the lead? Is this urgent?

A Legal Technical Framework for the On-Line Resolution of Domain Name Disputes - Paper 333

Christopher GIBSON
Jim FULLTON
World Intellectual Property Organization Switzerland

As Internet technologies and applications evolve, along with emerging e-commerce, the legal issues surrounding the use of intellectual property on the Internet  have given rise to complex international disputes. An example of this phenomenon is the increasing number of disputes concerning Internet domain names.

The World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center is developing an online mechanism for the resolution of Internet domain name disputes. This facility is to be offered in connection with the new international system for the registration of domain. In this connection, the Center has been designated to administer certain procedures for the resolution of disputes arising out of the registration of Internet domain names registered under the new generic top-level domain names covered by the Memorandum of Understanding on the Generic Top-Level Domain Name Space of the Internet Domain Name System (gTLD-MoU).

The envisaged dispute-resolution mechanisms, which aim to avoid the inherent limitations of national judicial remedies in dealing with conflicts of global dimensions, are online Administrative Challenge Panel (ACP) Procedure, a special procedure to be administered by the Center; online WIPO Mediation; and, where mediation was unsuccessful, online WIPO Expedited Arbitration. Thus, a third party considering that its rights are violated by a domain name registration may, without prejudice to any applicable rights to initiate court litigation, call the domain name registrant to any of these procedures.

A groundbreaking feature of the three envisaged mechanisms, and one that may in the future prove useful also for other types of disputes, is their online character. Parties will be able to file requests by completing an electronic form. With the possible exception of original documentary evidence, all submissions may be exchanged online through dedicated lines. In addition, parties and neutrals will be able to communicate simultaneously (an electronic chat facility), reducing the need for time-consuming and expensive in-person hearings.

A major challenge is presented by the development of the technical infrastructure necessary to support the proposed system. Working with external contractors, the Center is developing the software and hardware requirements. The dispute-resolution system will be Web-based, meaning that users may access the procedures through the Internet site of the Center. The site is being redesigned to include such functions as automatic notifications, a password-protected facility for the online exchange of pleadings and real-time communication, an electronic fee payment system, and access to a database of ACP determinations.

The presentation at INET'98 will describe the legal and technical aspects of the WIPO online system, as well as its suitability for other online dispute-resolution procedures. Of course, if necessary, the presentation can be split into two separate presentations, but we believe that a more seamless approach might be quite interesting and innovative and cause the audience to stretch a bit in its knowledge and understanding.

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Internet - Communication - Broadcasting

Reinventing Universal Broadcasting: Parallels Between the Radio's Early Years and the Internet's Emergence  - Paper 393

Eszter HARGITTAI
Princeton University USA

This paper draws parallels between the radio's early years and the emergence of the Internet in the United States. Although the two media are different in many respects, the origins and early evolution of the two communication tools share numerous similarities. The emergence of the Internet as a mass communication medium has prompted endless questions about government regulation, privacy concerns, breach in national security, children's unsupervised use of technology, advertising, information reliability, monopolistic tendencies, etc. All of these same questions had to be addressed in the beginning of the century by the nation and, in fact, the world, in relation to the dissemination of wireless communication.

This paper is concerned with the question of what factors influence the overarching change of a communication medium. The paper argues that three main forces determine the evolution of a communication medium: government intervention, the business sector, and user agency. To understand the different ways in which various media are affected by these components, it is essential to analyze the difference in timing and intensity of these factors concerning the respective media. The paper presents some serious concerns facing the Internet in its current form. A historical approach lends itself to a clearer understanding of the processes involved in shaping the current media landscape. Lessons learned from the past may allow us to ask fewer but more focused questions about new technologies, thereby allowing us to concentrate on the most pressing and immediate concerns. 

The Impact of Internet Broadcasting on the Electronic Media Regulatory Regimes in Taiwan

Universal Service Meets the Internet: A National Policy of Universal Access Through Libraries and Schools - Paper 339

Robert CANNON
Internet Telecommunications Project USA

In 1996, the year of the Telecommunications Act, President Clinton set the goal of wiring all United States schools and libraries to the Internet by the year 2000. This is a compelling policy goal. Universal Internet access benefits a democratic society by providing an equity of opportunity to the nation. It invigorates democratic discourse and allows virtual access to resources not available physically. It will also result in a work force able to meet the demands of the modern market.

In order to achieve the goal of universal Internet access, the federal government reinvented the Federal Communications Commission's Universal Service Program. It extended subsidies to all schools and libraries so that they could acquire Internet access. While schools and libraries, according to the program, had essentially unlimited access to funds, what those funds could be used for was highly restricted. Modems are not covered. LANs are covered; WANs are not (therefore wireless LANs are covered, but wireless WANs are not covered even if the only difference is the direction you point the transmitter). Connections to separate buildings on the same campus on the same side of the street are covered; connections which cross a street are presumed not to be covered; connections which cross campuses, even if on the same side of the street and right next to each other, are not covered. The schools and libraries program has led to an extensive administrative and procedural bureaucracy which biases network elements and favors some providers over others. It "fetters" the Internet. While this was a first try at a very important program, the US universal Internet access programs could be better. This paper will look at problems the US program has had and possible solutions.

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Panel: The Role of NGOs in Developing Internet Policies: The Global Internet Liberty Campaign

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