Computer Crime Research Center


Legal Control of Use of Internet Technologies

Date: April 13, 2004
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Andrey Belousov


While considering issues of state and legal control in the Internet, we may notice that traditional approaches are inapplicable to "virtual" relations in the Internet.

Such gaps in law turn to insufficient security of transactions in e-trade and banking, create more serious problems and corresponding gaps in taxation.

Still, neither receipt, nor distribution, search, production of information, nor any other process related to use of information are reflected in homeland laws. But there are some acts that provide for maximum governmental control in the Net:
- "On measures of information protection of resources of the state", Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated April 10, 2000, #582;
- "On assignation of the State center of information security to the authority of the Department of Special Telecommunication Systems and Information Protection of the Security Service of Ukraine", Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, dated February 28, 2001, #63-r. and some other.

In order to define an optimum direction of legal control in the Internet, a number of countries carry out specific studies, create centers and public authorities and adopt many legal acts and codes. For example, the USA headed to create an information backbone network as a technological means to allow everyone to find necessary information. The information backbone is an aggregate for all technologies related to production, processing, storage and distribution of information including television, computer networks, satellite communication and online commerce.

Attention is being increasingly focused on the social side of the Internet in EU countries. Resolutions and acts are adopted to form national policy in the sphere of information society. In Ukraine, official state strategy in the sphere of information technologies determines, above all, National Informatization Program Law. Also such important documents as Personal Data Protection Law, National Information Resources Law and Activity in the Sphere of Informatization Law are to be passed. November 2003, Telecommunications and Digital Signature Laws were adopted. However, there are no acts that indirectly regulate the Internet and aimed at its development.
So as to understand which way to chose to create a national law regulating the Internet in Ukraine and to realize human right for information to a full extent, it is necessary to examine international experience thoroughly and to develop its own effective legal basis in this sphere.

State policy directions and efforts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine are as following:
- active development of the Internet;
- placing comprehend information on state and local authorities' activity in the Internet;
- introduction of the Internet in all educational institutions;
- reconsideration of school programs for computer science with the purpose of increasing time for learning and practical exercise work on the Internet, publication of the corresponding textbooks and methodical manuals;
- introduction of a series of popular scientific programs on the First National Channel with the purpose of learning capabilities of the Internet.

The President of Ukraine has signed Telecommunication Law, passed November 18, 2003 by parliament. This law provides for legal principles of activity in the sphere of telecommunications, and also rights and obligations of individuals and legal entities participating in this activity or using telecommunication services.

Mass interest in the Internet is an irrefutable fact. Therefore, lawyers naturally do not pass over global network. It is necessary to control this new branch. A new specialization has appeared – Internet law.

Neither Ukraine, nor Russia have projects devoted to this issue. Only some articles of those lawyers who are engaged in development of legal aspect of using the Internet are published.

Present day law divides rules into two main groups: public and private law. Internet law will refer to both public and private parts of law; it will affect interests of the state and of separate individual.

Therefore it is necessary to apply both "authority-submission" and autonomy methods in order to control relations in the Internet. At this stage, Internet law, as a legal rule to regulate public relations in the Internet, will be formed.

Here are some possible ways to solve legislative problems to regulate relations in the sphere of high information technologies:
1. Refusal of legislative regulation in favour of self-control of relations in the Web.
2. Spread of current laws on relations in the Internet.
3. Special legal regulation of relations in the Internet.
4. Modification of the current law and adoption of new (adapted) legal rules considering specifics of relations in the Internet.
5. Adoption of law stipulating for basis of legal regulation of the Internet relations.
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