LLM Elements of Cyberlaw

Teaching and assessment (2019-20): Semester 1, 1 x 6,000 word essay

Module description:

Interaction in cyberspace plays a significant role in everyday activities through computational power and technologies interconnected via computers and largely through social interactions on the internet. Smart devices may be driven entirely by a ‘smart’ computer using algorithms and artificial intelligence, rely on distributed ledger technologies like the Blockchain that records every transaction on a P2P network, or facilitate payments through financial technology (fintech) like cryptocurrencies. These technologies have transformed the way we communicate, do business, and develop our creative works. However, while innovations permeate all domains of life, they also pose significant risks to human lifestyles such as the loss of personal data through hacking.

The module investigates critical socio-legal (and technical) questions surrounding the implications of the use of technology; the influence of social norms, values and interests on the regulatory design of cyberspace; and the intended and unintended consequences of regulating the use of technologies in cyberspace through law. You need to have an interest in the way the technologies work, to gain a better understanding of how law could address the challenges posed by disruptive technologies (or not).

Indicative seminar topics:

  • Disruptive technologies in cyberspace
  • Control of disruptive technologies in cyberspace: rule by law or rule by technology?
  • Law and modalities of regulation of technologies in cyberspace, and non-regulatory spaces like the Dark Web
  • Cybercrime: Regional Conventions on Cybercrime as regulatory tools
  • Rights: data protection, EU General Data Protection Regulation; Facebook cases
  • Conflict between data subject’s rights and powers of online platforms: Google cases
  • Regulating the Internet; the law of the Platform
  • Law and Regulation of Distributed Ledger Technologies: Fintech and the Blockchain
  • Law and Regulation of Artificial intelligence and beyond