Guest Editors' Introduction: Lawyers and Technologists: Joined at the Hip?

Networks, the Internet, and Cloud Computing and Internet

Article Snapshot


James Dempsey and Ira Rubinstein


IEEE Security & Privacy, Vol. 4, No. 3, pg. 15, 2006


This piece introduces Internet and communications technology legal issues important to lawyers and technologists.

Policy Relevance

The need for adequately informed technologists whose technical designs can impact policy, and the need for informed legislators whose legislation can impact technical design and innovation.

Main Points

  • Engineers should be aware of legal principles in order to design products and services that promote security, privacy, and user control. Legislators and regulators should understand the Internet's uniquely open and decentralized nature supports innovation in ways different from traditional broadcast and telephone technologies.
  • Tech-savvy lawyers need to be familiar with the following legal issues:
    • The application of the Fourth Amendment and laws governing privacy to communications technologies.
    • Statutory design mandates for wiretap-friendly networks.
    • Legal precautions in designing filtering software.
    • The legal bases and justifications for antispam and antispyware technologies as used by Internet Service Providers.
    • Legal limits on the discretion of Internet Service Providers considering self-help remedies.

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