The Law of Cyber-Space

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The Law of Cyber-Space is a book by Ahmad Kamal, Senior Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research on the subject of Cyber law.

As is explained in its Foreword, this new book is a sequel to the earlier work on “Information Insecurity” published in 2002, in which it had been pointed out that the absence of globally harmonised legislation was turning cyber-space into an area of ever increasing dangers and worries.

The new book lays down the possible parameters for a Law of Cyber-Space, and argues in favour of starting negotiations with the full participation of the three concerned stake-holders, namely, the governments, the private sector, and civil society.

Kamal believes that, in many ways, the current situation in cyber-space is similar to the problems once faced on the open ocean, where the absence of any jurisdiction or consensus legislation had also created a lawless situation. The international community finally woke up to the challenge, and started negotiations on the Law of the Sea. Those negotiations went on for almost a decade before they succeeded and Kamal writes that the world is much better off as a result.

Kamal asserts that in the case of cyber-space the challenge appears to be far greater;

"The speed of change is phenomenal, new shoals and icebergs appear every day, the dangers affect all countries without exception, yet global responses are sporadic or non-existent. That is why a globally negotiated and comprehensive Law of Cyber-Space is so essential."

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