Who Should Govern Public International Computer Networks

24 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2008

See all articles by Henrik Stakemann Spang-Hanssen

Henrik Stakemann Spang-Hanssen

Independent; University of Vienna School of Law - Department of Commercial and Business Law

Abstract

This article first notes that increasingly public international law impinges on private international law (conflict of law) and that the Internet is a web of networks of computers around the world.

Its use exploded when English Berners-Lee from CERN in Switzerland offered the HTTP protocol to the world as an open source (- as is the case with the IP/TCP protocol). This public international computer network has no central computer. Therefore with good reason, it can be argued that the Internet shall be governed by the international society.

Next, is briefly mentioned the public international law on telecommunication (the technology of carrying electronic communication) and that the Internet is a data delivering service.

The main part of the article deals with the issue of who should govern the Internet, discussing different organizations. It is argued, that no existing organ seems appropriate to govern the public international computer networks (the Internet). Many countries regard it is being a common heritage of mankind. For example, ICANN is presently trying to get power over the Internet by distancing itself from the US Government - however it will continue being under US (California) law. Therefore, a completely new neutral international organ should be created - like the International Sea-Bed Authority for the public international sea (High Sea).

In addition, the article briefly mentions some incidents that probably are violations of public international law and jurisdictional rules on when a state can govern.

Keywords: Public International Law, Cyberspace, Internet

JEL Classification: K33, K39

Suggested Citation

Spang-Hanssen, Henrik Stakemann, Who Should Govern Public International Computer Networks. Nordic Journal of International Law, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1119244

Henrik Stakemann Spang-Hanssen (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

Schottenbastei 10-16
A-1010 Vienna
Austria
+1 (408) 348-8431 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hssph.net/

University of Vienna School of Law - Department of Commercial and Business Law

Schottenbastei 10-16
A-1010 Vienna
Austria
+1 (408) 348-8431 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hssph.net

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