Legal Issues

Law can impact technology (e.g., design and architecture) and vice versa

  • Wiretapping and Internet Protocol: "But stretching CALEA [Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act] to encompass all possible VoIP architectures could significantly restrict the number of lawful VoIP system architectures in the United States."
  • “The lesson is that the law can shape technology early on—in progressive ways or in ways that reflect social values,” says Seton Hall’s Pasquale. “But if the law waits too long, then the thing it seeks to shape in fact shapes the law itself.”
  • "But if code is law, the opposite is equally true: legislative and regulatory decisions can impact technology design."


"Every day, libraries that would like to preserve some work are kept from doing so because of copyright protection."

"AT&T announced it would use a software program to inspect the YouTube videos that its subscribers try to watch, blocking any that might infringe the copyrights of the major record labels and movie and television studios."

compulsory licensing

GPL enforceability


Patent trolls: "What trolls have in common is that they do not commercialize products relating to the patents they own. Yet patent law is silent on whether a patent must be commercialized in order to be enforceable."

Litigation costs:
  • "Even if the inventor can afford to get the patent to issue, patent litigation is exorbitantly costly, frequently requiring millions of dollars. Individual inventors, and even small or medium-size companies, cannot afford such fees."


Freak Cases:

Privacy and Data Protection

* The Fourth Amendment and Emerging Communications Technologies, IEEE S&P,
* Designing the Right Wiretap Solution: Setting Standards under CALEA, IEEE S&P,


IEEE Spectrum

IEEE Security and Privacy

Law Journals with Free Access