Law and Technology

International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication & Society, 2014

20 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2014

Date Written: January 29, 2014


This entry explains why technology and network architecture are the subjects of law and regulation, can have law-like effects on society, and can be used as tools of the law. It includes historical examples from the pre-digital world to heighten appreciation of the difference the transition from analogue to digital has made in this domain. The examples are technical standards for encryption and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technologies, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) as an element of the traffic management/net neutrality debate, computer security and content censorship as issues that illustrate the relationship between technical issues and other regulatory matters (including digital rights management (DRM), and emerging legal issues. It discusses the various approaches taken by governments around the world, with examples of specific legal, regulatory, or policy approaches or tools from the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. These areas are chosen as the most sophisticated and formally democratically accountable regions, whose lessons generally apply to other regions of the world.

Keywords: law; technology; regulation; Internet law

JEL Classification: L63, L96, N43, K20, K23, L16, L33, L43, L86, L96, N73, O34, R48

Suggested Citation

Marsden, Christopher T., Law and Technology (January 29, 2014). International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication & Society, 2014, Available at SSRN:

Christopher T. Marsden (Contact Author)

University of Sussex Law School ( email )

Brighton BN1 9QN
United Kingdom

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