International Law of the Internet

Internet security has long been a topic of discussion both in the U.S. and abroad.  Recently, the U.S. and the U.K. held a conference in which they recommended principles for cooperation on internet law among various nations.  The principles aim to protect freedom of expression and privacy, while preventing online crime.  While several western nations have indicated their approval of the principles, other countries have expressed concern over the protection of freedom of expression.  For example, China, Russia, and two other countries have asked other states to “curb the dissemination of information that ‘undermines other countries’ political, economic and social stability, as well as their spiritual and cultural environment.’”  Obviously, different countries have different views on how the internet should be policed, but is the internet something that can be the subject of international law?  Should it be?  How will the various nations of the world ever be able to come to agreement on policies when they have such different laws and beliefs?


One comment

  1. Its amusing that both Russia and China would find this type of law objectionable. Its even more ironic that they would ask other countries to stop using the internet to subvert ruling governments. I say this because the United States just called out the Russians and Chinese for initiating cyber attacks on US businesses and schools. In particular, the US has alleged that both of these countries have stolen millions of dollars of intellectual property from American corporations.

    The threat of cyber warfare, in my opinion, is a huge area of concern with respect to national security. Think about it…what would a virus unleashed on the computer systems of the Dow Jones or Nasdaq to the American economy? Could rogue nations infiltrate other areas of strategic national importance (nuclear plants, security agencies, etc.). The threat is real and something that must be addressed. One can only hope that we have people working on this “battlefield” that are just as smart, if not smarter, than the guys on the other side.

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