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Vladimir Golubev

Computer Information Is an Object of Legal Relationship

Vladimir A. Golubev Information communication technologies are the main factor that affects forming of a society of 21 century. It concerns a way of people life, their education and work. Information technologies (IT) became vital incentive for the development of world economy. IT give an opportunity to solve economic and social problems efficiently and creatively. Mankind has entered a new epoch - an epoch of information society.

It is estimated, that in order to increase a production of goods twice, a fourfold increase in volume of information is needed. Yet two decades ago the volume of scientific information necessary for solving technological and social problems doubled each seven years. Since 1995 it has been doubling annually or every two years.

Under such conditions, information that maintains crucial and historic directions of human activity turns into valuable product and main commodity. Its cost approaches gradually to the cost of material values. Under influence of the latest scientific and technological knowledge, production of goods radically modifies its technological basis.

IT penetrate in mechanisms of mass social communications more profoundly: education, upbringing and training. IT influence on formation of the personality, a way of living, system of legal relationship, etc.

It is possible to assert confidently, that we are faced with historical competition of various social economic systems. A system that proceeds faster on a path of a new information civilization and culture will survive. This system will create essentially new opportunities for human self-actualization as creative individual.

Scientists empasize two basic theoretic-methodological approaches to informatization of society. Technocratic: IT are considered as a mean of labor productivity increase. IT use is limited, basically, by manufacture and management spheres. Humanitarian: IT are considered as important part of human life. It is important not only for manufacture, but also for social sphere and its management [1].

The reason for significant spread of technocratic approach lies in identification of concepts "informatization" and "computerization". Such approach to informatization lies only in creating a technical basis.

Society informatization as a whole should be interpreted as development, qualitative improvement and radical strengthening with the help of modern IT. They essentially raise creative potential of a society as a whole, person's in particular. It also affects information environment in which this person exists and evolves [2].

Nowadays, there are few things which can be made without collecting, summarizing, generating, accessing information. One of the first definitions of computer information belongs to Wiener [3]. He defined it like “contents received from outer world during our and our senses’ adaptation to it. A process of reception and use of information is our adaptation to events of environment and our ability to live in it”. In other words, computer information was understood as means that allow to remove uncertainty in learning either, this or that object.

Basing on a way of retention and transmission, it is possible to say that computer information is information transmitted, processed and kept with the use of electronic-computer facilities. Computer information can be transferred in space, kept in time, transferred to other subject or other technical device (e.g. to another computer) and it is exposed to other operations.

The author considers the most successful definition: “computer information is any information (data) which exists in electronic form, is stored in computer or other machine carrier. It can be created, modified or used with help of computer” [4].

The Law of Ukraine “About Information” has secured the information right of Ukrainian citizens. It has put in legal bases of information activity. Among the major attainments secured by the law, it is necessary to mark out definition of information (article 1) and information property rights (article 38), establishment of main principles of information relationship (article 5) and state information policy (article 6). Basic direction of this policy lies in creating general system of information security (IS) [5].

General definition of information was given by Trusov who considered, that “... information covers reflection of subjects and effects in human consciousness, events and processes in each other, without relation with consciousness" [6]. In such interpretation, information is presented as certain "transcendental object". Lantzman’s opinion is that information is all that, "distinguishes one effect from another, or characterizes various conditions of it" [7].

All this testifies that it is really hard to define a correct concept of information without any methodological mistakes. Therefore, in modern legal literature we can find identification of information with reflection. Otherwise it can be considered without its relation with user [8].

The stated allows to track roots and regularity of origin and use of "information" in jurisprudence, particularly, in criminalistics. So, Belkin's thesis says: “process of proving changes in the environment as consequences of event reflection in it, is information on event” [9]. Also we shall specify that changes in environment are, first of all, reflection. Reflection, as a feature of reflecting object, in consequence of interaction with other objects, can be unclaimed by user and cannot actually become an information. Therefore we shall proceed from thesis that features of reflecting object are a fact that exists outside and independently of person’s consciousness. The underlying fact of information in scientific literature is called "the base fact”, or latent, potential information. It is always stored in a certain carrier^; it can be any material body.

Considering information as an object of protection, it is necessary to notice, that it is a result of reflection and processing of outward things variety in human consciousness. These are subject’s data that surrounds a person, natural phenomena, activity of other people, etc. Data exchanged between people and or computer with the help of electronic devices (computer) is a subject of protection.

Kaljuzhnyj, analyzing problems of legal IS maintenance in our country, emphasizes [10]: “According to the Information Law of Ukraine, information is divided into open and restricted access information. The last is divided into secret information (State secret and other classified information) and confidential information. State secret for today has an efficient legal protection. Unfortunately, we cannot state the same about confidential restricted access information". And further: “The consequences of such uncertainty are: subjects of lawmaking and enforcement do not have an adequate conception about restricted information structure^; identification of confidential and classified information, bearing no State secret^; “an amorphous state” of new kinds of secret information, appearing outside of information legislation (e.g., professional secret or data about security measures, persons taken under protection). All this negatively affects the quality of new by-laws. Particularly it affects problems of IS, for information cannot be properly protected without any definition of needed security degree and its reasoning”.

Not only secret information is to be protected. Any modifications of unclassified data may lead to outflow of secret data. Destruction or disappearance of cumulated data may lead to its hopeless loss. Depending on a kind of data processing system, loss or outflow of information may entail consequences of different degree of weight: from innocent jokes to huge damage of economic or political character. There are lots of examples. Crimes in the automated systems (AS) of banks and trading structures became the most crucial. According to foreign experts, losses of banks from computer crimes annually make up from 170 million to 41 billion dollars.

Value of information is important for any decision about its protection. And, though different attempts were made to formalize this process with use of information and decisions analysis theories, estimation still remains rather subjective. Estimation needs a distribution of information in categories not only according to its value, but also to its importance. The following distribution of information on a degree of importance is known:

(a) vital irreplaceable information, its presence is necessary for functioning of organization^;
(b) important information which can be replaced or restored, but process of restoration is very difficult and costly^;
(c) helpful information which cannot be easy restored, however it is not crucial for effective functioning of organization^;
(d) irrelevant information which is not crucial for organization.

In practice, attribution of information to one of these categories is a difficult task. As far as the same information can be used by many departments, each of them can attribute it to different importance categories. Importance category and value of information, naturally, varies in time and depends on attitude of diverse groups of consumers and potential infringers.

There are definitions of people groups related to information processing: holder – an organization/person that is the owner of information^; source - an organization/person that supplies information^; infringer - a separate organization/person that are after information. Attitude of these groups to importance of the same information can be different. For example:

• important operative information, like list of orders for the current week or production schedule, can be of high value for user, whereas it is less important for source (e.g. customer) or infringer^;
• personal information, like medical, is of high value for a source (a patient, or a doctor), rather than for user or infringer^;
• information used by management with purpose of working out and taking decisions, e.g. info about market development prospects can be significantly more valuable for infringer, rather than for source or its holder who has already carried out analysis of these data.

The given importance categories are noteworthy and can be applied to any information. It is also adjusted with existing principle of information distribution according to privacy levels. Level of privacy is administrative or legislative measure. It is adequate to a measure of the person's responsibility for use or loss of the concrete secret information that is regulated by special document considering state, strategic, commercial, official or private interests. Such information can be of state, military, commercial, official or private secret.

The total amount or statistics of unclassified data in all can fall within secret information. In similar, the summary data of one level of privacy can fall within information of higher level. In order to avoid such situations, a differentiation of access to information according to functional attributes is used widely. In case of an identical level of importance, processed information is divided according to functions and authorities of users which are established by administration (owner of information).

Until recently, IS in AS was understood narrowly. It was exclusively a danger of its unauthorized reception during its processing and storage. Today IS is interpreted also as a security of actions when this information is used. Basic distinctions of expanded interpretation are very important unlike traditional. Computer facilities are even more often used for automated management, unauthorized changes of planned algorithms and technologies can cause serious consequences.

In conclusion it is necessary to note, that problem of criminal counteraction in sphere of computer technologies, undoubtedly, is related to general problem of IS. It also concerns a feature of computer information as object of legal relationship. Special attention should be focused on public relations, arising from information property right. Such feature affects attributes of information as a subject of illegal infringements. Thus, it is necessary to define ways and means of IS, rights and duties of subjects of information relations that arise from use, accumulation, processing and protection of information.

Practice testifies that not only confidential (secret) information should be protected. Unfortunately, open information, is exposed to unauthorized modifications (e.g., modifications of control commands). It can lead to outflow or loss of secret information, errors in functions of AS owing to incorrect data reception, which cannot be found out by user.

Main principles of state IS policy in Ukraine first of all are:

(a) observance of interests balance of a personality, a society and the state^;
(b) their mutual responsibility^; unity of approaches for IS maintenance^;
(c) complexity, completeness and continuity of measures in IS^;
(d) openness of legal acts and normative documents in sphere of IS which do not bear State secret^;
(e) coherence of legal acts for organizational-administrative maintenance and normative documents concerning technical protection of information with corresponding international agreements of Ukraine^;
(f) obligatory technical protection of State and other, defined by law, secret^;
(g) confidential information that is the property of the state^;
(h) open information, important for the state, irrespective of where the specified information circulates, and also open information, important for the person and a society if the given information circulates in public authorities and local governments, the National Academy of Sciences, Armed forces, other military formations, law-enforcement bodies, state enterprises, institutions and offices^;
(i) subjects of information relations fulfill, at own discretion, all requirements concerning technical protection of secret information, belonging to the state, and open information, important for the person and a society if last circulates beyond scope of public authorities and local governments, state enterprises, institutions and offices^;
(k) assignment of responsibility for organization and realization of state policy in sphere of technical protection of information on a specially authorized central enforcement authority^;
(l) hierarchy of organizational structures of IS system and management of their activity within authority determined by laws^;
(m) methodical management of specially authorized central enforcement authority in sphere of IS^;
(n) coordination of actions and differentiation of fields of organizational structures in system of information technical protection with other IS systems and IS maintenance, as a component of national safety.

Analysis of Ukrainian legal documents shows that state policy in IS field is defined by priority of national interests. The policy has an object to make information related threats impossible. It is carried out by fulfillment of regulations specified in legislation and regulations of the Concept of technical protection of information, and programs of IS development and other separate projects.

[1] V. Krylov, Information computer crimes, Moscow: 1976, p.27.
[2] M. Ahramenko, Problems of socially dangerous behavior criminalization with use of information processing systems, Minsk: 1996, p.7.
[3] N. Winner, Cybernetics society, Moscow: Soviet Radio, 1958, p.31.
[4] V. Golubev, Problems of crimes and bank technologies, Corporate systems: 2002, #3, p.78.
[5] V. Golubev, Legal personality of information relationship participants as an object of legal protection, Information technologies and information security, Scientific works digest, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine High School of Law, Zaporizhzhya: 1999, Issue 3, #1, p.3.
[6] A. Trusov, Court proving based on cybernetics, Problems of cybernetics and law, Moscow: 1976, p.20.
[7] R. Lantsman, Use of cybernetics possibilities to make criminalistic expert examinations and some problems of proving in court: Abstract, Moscow: 1970, p.18.
[8] R. Belkin, Crime detection: problems, tendencies and perspectives. General and particular theories, Moscow: 1987, p.63^; N.Klimenko, P.Bilenchuk Logical and mathematical methods in criminalistics, Kyiv: 1988, p.12^; D.Turchin, Theoretical principles on traces in crime detection, Vladivostok: 1983, p.79.
[9] R. Belkin, Course of criminalistics: three volumes, Lawyer, Moscow: 1997, Volume 1: General theory of crime detection, p.119.
[10] R. Kaluzhny, D. Prokofieva, Problems and prospects of legal provision for protection information with limited access, that is not State secret”, Legal, normative and methodological maintenance of information security system in Ukraine, Kyiv: 2000, p.27, 2001, #3, p.178.

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