The Object of Establishment of The Information Network Law Association Japan
The New Age of Information Network Society
Digitalization of the information media and the computer network, that is, the development of information technology (IT) effects on the respective areas of our society. These phenomena have common subjects; for example, not only the technical aspects but also every social infrastructure which involves political, economic and legal issues.
Now most businesses execute E-trades (electronic stock exchanges) investments, finance and send and receive shipments and many other kinds of transactions through computer networks. In addition, anyone can purchase digital goods and/or operate a SOHO (Small Office and Home Office) through computer networks.
Furthermore, government procurement and services are provided through the Internet in addition to the standard judicial system. Accordingly, real society is faced with a variation of what is called IT society.
The Necessity of Information Law (Cyber Law)
The above variation applies to real law system. In property law, real laws have been constructed by traditional legal theory and legal systems in which property mean an "object." For instance, ownership, possession, security interest (collateral) and contract based information based on the witting represents a symbol of the real law system. Judicial evidence and legal proceedings have the same issues. Criminal law regards property as an object and the physical existence of homo sapiens while establishing traditional legal theory and legal systems which focus on internal crime.
However, the new information network environment has various problems. It is very easy for us to copy digital media from original data in web pages. The copyright is infringed upon as we cannot find the data between the original and the copy file and such a case has legal ramifications. The crime of information network brings borderless troubles, the protection of intellectual property being one of the most important.
From this point of view, the fundamental principle of existing laws is totter. Thus, that is to say, we must face the differences between property as objects and property as information. When fundamental human rights are considered, we are obliged to establish the jurisprudence, legal infrastructure and judicial system in consideration of the new phenomenon on the information network environment.
"Freedom of Expression" in Information Network Society
To many people, the development of information technology is an ideal environment for self-expression and freedom of expression, areas in which the mass media of publication, journalism and television or governmental official reports reign supreme. But the development of IT is worthy of praise because of the opportunity it offers the respective citizen to overcome giant mass media. To our disappointment, it is also causing illegal and harmful expression from year to year. The increase in immoral network use poses a threat to civil procedures and constitutes illegal procedures in relations to the freedom of thought.
But we do not believe the answer to this problem lies in enhancing regulation but maintaining the balance between regulations and self-resolution.
It is possible for us to carry out every transaction through use of computer networks. Commercial law has difficulty considering the settling of financial transactions through the use of machines and does not take into consideration how computers interact with other computers. Although difficult, these aspects must be considered in order to resolve important issues.
Cyber Terrorism or Cyber War
The current criminal law is not capable of effectively coping with crime through the use of information networks. For example, many kinds of computer virus attacks on computers can paralyze the functions of society. This cyber terrorism threatens our business life and is a serious menace to the whole human race from the standpoint of security.
According to the mentioned above, we have to reexamine the criminal and defense law system.
Necessity for Legal System in Accordance with Ongoing Social Change
In the case of electric malls, small-scaled electric commerce, net-auctions (* "netauction" is a registered trademark in the U.S. We list this term in an attempt to avoid any misconceptions regarding the use of this term as it is not our intention to infringe on the copyright) and electric publishing services, the players of transactions are altering from those of traditional distribution in so-called pro-sumers suggested by Alvin Toffler (*please check the original). This change results not only in the increased use of electric means but also in the extinction of certain types of businesses. One of our immediate concerns is to pursue new legal systems that keep pace with these ongoing social changes.
Global Implications of the Network System
Through the use of digital information the network is eroding traditional concept of sovereigns that have been maintained by geographical boundaries. In addition to the classical legal issues such as conflict of laws and cross-border enforcement, a new form of borderless sovereignty has risen. Moreover, while it has the potential to substantiate the process of democracy, the information network also gives rise to the threat of extensive monitoring and control. Despite the difficulties, we need to confront such possibilities and broaden our horizons of legal thoughts.
Particularity of Network Society and Jurisprudence
The present-day society, however, requires a larger framework to discuss the issues where both experts and layperson or specialists from realm other than law, join. We need to develop a platform to exchange opinions utilizing the network, and in so doing, share real understanding of the upcoming problems, but not rhetoric for jurists. We need to be able to locate experts who have such understanding in their own fields, be that law or technology, and a sense of public interests so that we can draw from their wisdom to serve society. We need to eliminate isolation and intolerance from the jurists?f league and open the forum.
Foundation of Information Network Law Association
Aware of these issues, we have resolved to found the Information Network Law Association. We do not doubt the significant role of the traditional study association and will continue to utilize it even though it may be replaced in the future. We, at this point, consider that the traditional association is the best receptacle to attract people with assorted expertise, thereby achieve our goal to contribute our society.
We hereby declare the foundation of the Information Network Law Association, and invite like-minded persons.