The collected essays in this book concern the intriguing matter of the interaction between law and technology and the normative role of information technology. More precisely, they focus on the way information and communication technologies regulate human behaviour. Can information technology be an alternative to legal regulation and, if so, what are the risks?
In this book the question is addressed as to how law interacts with technology in general and whether software (‘code’) can be understood as law. Comparisons are made between different technologies of communication (fixed and mobile telephony and the Internet) from the angle of control of communications. A problem is that the tool becomes more and more intransparent: it becomes a means of controlling human behaviour that replaces instruments of law. The impact of this development in the domains of freedom of expression, privacy and property is therefore analysed in depth.
The issues raised in this book were discussed during a conference entitled Code as Code, held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The report of the debate between leading experts who attended the Conference forms the round-up in the book, as do the proposals for a future agenda for research.
Together and individually, the authors provide substantial and meaningful contributions to the lively debate on the relationship between ‘software code’ and ‘legal code’ as it was initiated by Lawrence Lessig’s book Code and other Laws of Cyberspace (1999). The book is therefore highly recommended to professionals in IT and law, legal scholars, government policy makers and – not to forget – students of IT and law.
Coding Regulation is edited by Egbert J. Dommering, Professor of Information Law at the University of Amsterdam, and Lodewijk F. Asscher, researcher at the Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam, and Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs of the city of Amsterdam.
This is Volume 12 in the Information Technology and Law (IT&Law) Series