Course Number: 67398
The integration of the computer into modern society is causing unpredictable technological and social changes. The dominance of the Internet in the commercial and social life has raised new issues. Questions like jurisdiction, anonymity, contract making, infringement, privacy, tort laws, and many others.
Every day, courts around the world deal with these innovative questions, and the solutions are different, frequently changing, and contradicting.
In the not-so-distant future, we will probably have to discuss questions that today appear to be science fiction, but they already have lively legal discourse, such as civil rights for robots, the legal status of supercomputers, the law of autonomic cars, and more.
Even experienced jurists feel unsecure in cyberspace, and certainly those who are not jurists. The current lack of clarity can cause computer experts to act wrongly. Some examples are given:
- A computer expert wishes to work with a data storage company. However, he wants to examine the security measures of the company's sites by using several attack / test programs. Is he allowed to do so? Should he get permission from someone? Is it legal to maintain harming software that can be used for these tests?
- A software developer managed to develop a cheap encryption application that can help encrypt documents/messages. Is it permissible for him to market this via the Internet to everyone? Does he need license for that? Does it depend on the encryption level and/or other factors?
- An academic researcher seeks to learn about ransom scams. He decided to turn to the dark web to purchase ransom software, find out prices, their functionality, bargain for the price, check them before buying, and so on. Are these actions permitted? Or will it considered illegal such as buying drugs from criminals?
These are just few examples. The purpose of the course is to provide a basic guidance for computer science students about basic legal situations, the actions they must be careful from, and the ways to find out what is permitted and what is forbidden.