Taming cyberspace: Applying international law in a new domain

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Cyberspace may be ending its Wild West phase, but the law is still struggling to tame it. Scholars of international law are divided on whether cyberspace is just another domain of international affairs so that existing international law can be stretched to cover it, or whether it is sui generis and so needs a distinctive body of law. And more generally, with the emergence of the cloud and the internet of things, the notion that transactions occur somewhere, and hence the regulation and law of that somewhere may apply, is fast fading. Whatever else it is, fast-changing cyberspace is not yet tamed.

Fred H. Cate is the Vice President for Research at Indiana University. He is a Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law at the Indiana University (IU) Maurer School of Law and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing. His work focuses on information privacy and security law and policy issues. He served as the founding director of the university’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research from 2003 to 2014, where he is now a senior fellow, and he served as managing director of the IU Center for Law, Ethics and Applied Research in Health Information.

Professor Cate is a member of: the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Forum on Cyber Resilience; the Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Committee’s Cybersecurity Subcommittee; the National Security Agency’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Panel; the OECD’s Panel of Experts on Health Information Infrastructure; Intel’s Privacy and Security External Advisory Board; the Board of Directors of The Privacy Projects; the Board of Directors of the International Foundation for Online Responsibility; and the Board of Directors of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. He is also a senior policy advisor to the Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton & Williams LLP.