Sunday, January 6, 2002
Joint Program of Sections on Civil Rights, Intellectual Property Law and Law and the Social Sciences
Privacy on the Internet
Arthur Cockfield, Queens University, Faculty of Law, Kingston, Ontario, Canada (view material) PDF file
Raymond Ku, Seton Hall University
Jeffery Rosen, George Washington University
Paul M. Schwartz, Brooklyn Law School
David. E. Steinberg, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Peter P. Swire, Ohio State University
The technological revolution accomplished through the internet is producing new challenges to traditional conceptions pf privacy. In a very real sense, the internet has resulted in a sudden, dramatic increase in the privacy that individuals enjoy. Cloaked in anonymity, individuals freely engage in conversations and activities throughout the internet. On message boards and in chat rooms, individuals express political theories, petty jealousies, their darkest fears, and their deepest fantasies.
But privacy on the internet also has a dark side. Shielded from state regulation, the internet may provide a sanctuary for sociopathic behavior. The internet has become a haven for con artist schemes, gender exploitation, child pornography and racial hatred shunned by mainstream society.
This program will examine how the internet is challenging traditional notions of privacy. The program will consider whether the state may preserve the freedom and privacy that users enjoy on the internet, while at the same time presenting the internet from becoming a sanctuary for criminal and other destructive behavior. Or will state regulation transform the internet from a medium for individual freedom and self-realization, into a powerful mechanism fro state control tyranny?