Tuesday, November 29, 2011
9th Circuit Withdraws Decision Dismissing Antitrust Claim Regarding Cable Channel Bundling
Photo by Vick the Viking
On October 31, 2011, the 9th Circuit withdrew its June 3 decision holding cable companies’ bundling of channels did not violate antitrust law, specifically the Sherman Act. The suit commenced in 2007 on behalf of a class of consumers against cable programmers, including NBC Universal, The Walt Disney Co., Time Warner, Comcast, and DirecTV. The companies packaged “must-have” cable channels with low-demand channels thus prohibiting cable distributors from offering the channels à la carte. The consumers alleged that this practice forced independent distributors out of the market.
The Sherman Act prohibits contracts, trusts, or conspiracies in unreasonable restraint of trade or commerce. One unreasonable restraint can be the practice of “tying” two or more products together that could otherwise be sold separately. The idea is that the seller has market power over the “tying product” and can leverage this power to exclude other sellers of the “tied product.” In the case of cable channels, the high-demand, “must-have” channels would be the tying product and the low-demand would be the tied product.
The District Court dismissed the case for failure to state a claim concluding that the plaintiffs failed to show how cable channel bundling keeps independent companies from entering and competing in the industry. The court contended that the plaintiffs did not plead facts asserting an antitrust claim, but instead asserted a class action suit by claiming that cable bundling harms consumers by limiting the way in which cable distributors compete with one another. Harm to consumers and limits on competition, without more, does not constitute injury to competition sufficient to bring an antitrust suit.
After receiving a flood of amicus briefs from organizations and consumer groups, the 9th Circuit withdrew its opinion and will seek a third judge to join the panel. Likely, the court will issue a more in-depth and detailed opinion. The court fell short in its analysis, merely stating that injury to consumers is not proof of injury to competition. It is probable that the court will set forth a clear pleading standard that lawyers must meet to assert injury to competition, rather than reverse the grant of the motion to dismiss. It is rare for a court to withdraw a decision on its own and rarer for a court to reverse that decision.
US Investigating Chinese Solar Imports
Photo by: Living Off Grid
China’s new energy manufacturing sector has been growing rapidly in the last two years. In 2009, there were $640 million in U.S. imports of Chinese solar. Last year that amount grew three times that amount to $1.5 billion. U.S. solar manufacturing however, has been struggling.
SolarWorld Industries America, Inc., joined by other American solar manufacturers, alleged in a petition to the Department of Commerce that they have suffered financial injury and requested tariffs to be imposed on Chinese solar. The Chinese government allegedly provides preferential loans, land discounts, discounted raw materials, tax breaks, export assistance grants, and export insurance to domestic solar companies. The claim is that illegal Chinese subsidies result in artificially low prices that are unfairly disrupting sales of American manufactured cells. The scale of the Chinese subsidies may violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. The requested tariffs on Chinese solar panels, which could potentially exceed 100%, are intended to level the playing field to allow the struggling U.S. solar manufacturing sector to compete.
U.S. solar generating companies and the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy oppose the potential duties. The Coalition has 25 members, including U.S companies, Solar City and MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., as well as Chinese companies with U.S. arms such as Yingli Green Energy and Suntech Power Holdings. There is criticism that the tariffs will cause prices for solar to rise, making solar projects too expensive. In response to the potential action CECEP Solar Energy Technology Co. Ltd., China’s largest solar power developer, put $500 million worth projects on hold in anticipation of the foreboding rise in costs.
Instead of imposing tariffs on Chinese solar, the U.S. should provide new legal subsidies to domestic solar manufacturers. The 1603 Treasury Cash Grant Program for renewable energy projects is sunsetting in a few months. If the U.S. wants to be a part of the green energy future, incentives like these need to be extended and expanded. Inciting a trade war will not be the solution to growing solar in the U.S.
On December 5th, the ITC will vote on whether there is sufficient evidence of injury to U.S. manufactures such that a case should go forward. In January, the Commerce Department will make preliminary decisions on whether to impose the duty on Chinese-subsidized solar panels.
A Christmas Gift is Waiting for You at the Airport…
Photo by: Mashable Tech
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has got a new toy for you if you travel this holiday season – new software that will not reveal anything under your clothes except for weapons. This is a relief for the vast majority of people who were concerned about not only their privacy at the airport, but their safety and health.
There are two main full body scanners that you will likely see at the airport: the millimeter wave scanner and the backscatter x-ray. The former produces only “millimeter” waves instead of x-rays and therefore is not strong enough to produce a genotoxic effect likely to cause cancer. On the other hand the x-ray scanner’s safety has not been proven but it’s known that x-rays in general are high frequency devices that damage DNA in cells and can eventually be cancer causing.
In addition to safety concerns, members of the public allege that the full body scanners violate their right to privacy when their nude image appears on a screen for all to see. However, in July of 2011, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the scanners do not violate the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches. Furthermore, to calm the fears of many, the TSA will finally utilize software this holiday season which produces a generic nude image of passengers but at the same time, retain the scanners’ ability to reveal concealed weapons and other contraband. The new software will also prevent future leaks of nude images that were leaked in 2010 before generic images were produced.
Are these uneconomical efforts to decrease the public’s concern worth it or are they creating unnecessary problems stemming from legal and safety concerns? Well, the reality is that the U.S. is concerned about preventing terrorist attacks that have occurred in the past. It was shown that less sophisticated scanners will not reveal small weapons.
Given the added security that the country needs, a balancing of all interests shows that the millimeter and backscatter x-ray scanners should be used. The millimeter wave scanner was proven to be safe because it produces very small waves. The backscatter x-ray scanner may be harmful but passengers pass through the scanners infrequently for a very short amount of time and therefore any negative effect will likely be negligible. The new software will assure passengers that a personally identifiable nude image will not be produced so privacy concerns should decrease.
Most importantly, the United States’ need to be vigilant and protect against weapons entering airplanes is paramount. To this point, the TSA found an alternative way, less invasive to travelers, which reveals dangerous weapons. Any negative effect on health will be virtually non-existent.
If you still are not convinced, just think: You are seated on an airplane and you are ready to take-off. Imagine that no one on the airplane passed through a full body scanner . . . how safe would you feel?
Monday, November 21, 2011
Copyright Office Releases Discussion of “Mass Digitization”
Categories: Business, Computers, Court, Internet, Legislation, Licensing
Photo Titled "Kindle/Nook Hollow Book Holder" by Conduit_Press
Just this past month the Copyright Office released a forty page document entitled Legal Issues in Mass Digitization: A Preliminary Analysis and Discussion Document. The document is supplemented with multiple useful appendixes and comes in at just under one hundred pages total. What could possibly motivate the Copyright Office to go to such lengths? The answer is Google. More specifically, Google Books and a variety of organizations throughout the world that are attempting to compress as much printed or published material as possible into a digital medium. The problem is that the printed material, overwhelmingly books, is most likely under copyright with an owner who must grant permission for such copying. Hence copyrights.
The cases that led to this report and raised most of these concerns are Authors Guild v. Google Inc., 770 F. Supp. 2d 666 (S.D.N.Y. 2011), and the companion case American Society of Media Photographers, Inc. v. Google Inc., Civil No. 10-2977 (S.D.N.Y.). Google has been scanning books, many copyrighted, since 2004 and made full copies available to users of partner academic libraries and samples available to the general public via the internet. The report notes that the court was concerned “that exclusive rights afforded by copyright law should not be usurped as a matter of convenience, and that policy initiatives that redefine the relationship between copyright law and new technology are in the first instance the proper domain of Congress, not the courts." Google attempted to settle the matter at one point but he Department of Justice was concerned that Google’s behavior would continue and have negative long-term implications. Though settlements are expected, future litigation is almost inevitable.
The document goes on to describe how books are being mass digitized and who the interested parties are. Google is obviously one of these parties. A conglomerate made up of twelve well-known universities, Google, Microsoft and the Internet Archive created the HathiTrust Digital Library that contains three billion pages of scanned content. European governments have also partnered with private organizations to digitize as much cultural and scientific resources as possible. The Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Archives all have detailed digital plans for the future as well. It is definitely worth noting that there is already a vast amount of literary work available online throughout the world. The EU, France, Germany, and China are all working on government funded projects to digitize books that are considered imperative to the preservation of history.
The fourth part of the report analyzes how copyright laws, specifically licensing, interact with book digitization initiatives. Under the Copyright Act a copyright owner possesses a “bundle of rights” that includes the right to exploit the digital rights of their work however they see fit. The Copyright Act also grants a limited exception to libraries and their ability to make copies of books. The report also notes “it is difficult to imagine an exception to copyright applying to the commercial partners of libraries.” The Fair Use exception is discussed but no concrete predictions for its application can be arrived at. Fair Use is employed as a defense once the court finds infringement, which analyzes the motives and individual circumstances of the infringer on a case-by-case basis. The last issue raised in the fourth part of the report is “orphan works.” The term orphan work is used to describe a copyrighted work without a locatable owner to obtain permission from. Congress has discussed a “safe harbor” for certain organizations that are using orphan works as long as the work is no longer used if the copyright owner reappears and objects to its use.
Licensing schemes are discussed in the last part of the report covering both direct licensing and collective licensing. Collective licensing would encompass voluntary (direct negotiation between licensee and licensor), extended (requiring some form of legislation to allow groups to bargain on behalf of licensee and licensor), and compulsory (basically forcing the copyright holder to license the use of the work) methods.
Many of the concerns brought up in this document are analogous to the concerns society and business had with the invention and rise in popularity of copiers/Xerox machines and videocassette recorders/VCRs. The use of digitized books by members of non-profit organizations like universities and public libraries does not seem to be the main problem here because the library will most likely be a good faith partner that can be negotiated or renegotiated with. The long-term concerns seem to be centered on what framework needs to be put in place to protect copyright owners from technology that isn’t “here” yet. If you told an author twenty years ago that their most lucrative royalties would come from tablets, Nooks, or Kindles they would try to have you committed. But, many if not most people’s lives now revolve around digital content. It would not be fair if that stick in copyright owner’s bundle of rights is compromised; it may ultimately prove to be the most valuable stick.
The full document can be found here: OFFICE OF THE REGISTER OF COPYRIGHTS, LEGAL ISSUES IN MASS DIGITIZATION: A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION DOCUMENT, (2011), available at http://www.copyright.gov/docs/massdigitization/USCOMassDigitization_October2011.pdf
Ban on French Cop-Watching Website
Photo titled "Anti-Sarkozy Demonstration & Riots (28) - 06May07, Paris (France)" by Phillipe Leroyer
Following French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s call for a more “civilized Internet,” a French court recently placed an immediate block on French website Copwatch Nord Paris, which monitored controversial actions of the French police. The website offered various images and videos of police officers while arresting suspects, including such acts as allegedly taunting protestors and committing acts of violence against members of ethnic minorities, reports the NY Times.
The French police welcomed the court’s decision, believing that the site was responsible for inciting violence against the them. Jean-Claude Delage, secretary general of the police union, Alliance Police Nationale, told Agence France Presse that the court “analyzed the situation perfectly,” stating the court had “made the right decision.”
Free speech activists, on the other hand, find the ban on the website to be an unacceptable censor, but consistent with the French government’s policy of imposing strict control over the Internet. Amnesty International issued a report in 2009 which criticized France for its police brutality, which it noted, is rarely investigated. The recently banned cop-watching website was an attempt to expose these alleged injustices.
The cop-watching movement and corresponding websites originated in the United States and have been protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately for French advocates of free speech on the Internet, there is no equivalent to the First Amendment in French law. Given that no such protections exist for the French, the court was able to help Sarkozy in his attempt to clean up the Internet while free speech went by the wayside.
For further reading see:
Eric Pfanner, Court Orders French Cop-Watching Site Blocked, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 16, 2011, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/technology/court-orders-french-cop-watching-site-blocked.html?_r=2&ref=technology.
Police Abuse Goes Unchecked, AMNESTY INT’L, Apr. 2, 2009, available at http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/police-abuse-goes-unchecked-france-20090402.
House Subcommittee Hears Testimony on Online Gambling Regulation
On October 25, 2001, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing on the state of online gambling and the potential impact of regulation. A wide range of testimony was given by varied groups, most of it coming down in favor of taxing and regulating. Given the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Supercommittee, and its mandate to issue a formal recommendation on reducing the budget deficit by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade, the time seems right to get such legislation passed.
Online gambling has a rocky history in the U.S. In the early 2000’s the Bush administration attempted to use the Wire Act, mostly unsuccessfully, to prosecute online gambling; federal courts have typically held that the Wire Act only applies to online sports betting, not online gambling in general. The Bush administration responded by sneaking the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006 (UIGEA) into the SAFE Port Act as a last-minute amendment that received almost no review. The UIGEA prohibits payment processors from accepting payments in connection with unlawful online gambling, but neglects to specify what types are unlawful. The UIGEA did cause a number of large online gambling sites to pull out of the U.S. market, but the market quickly recovered and continued to grow, with online poker being a particularly popular form. On April 15, 2011, the Department of Justice seized the domain names and froze the domestic assets of three of the largest online poker sites; Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. These sites no longer operate within the U.S. although many smaller sites still operate domestically.
The October 25th hearing may have marked a turning point in online gambling in the U.S. Over the past few years, numerous pieces of legislation were drafted, and at least one was formally introduced. Yet most have stalled in either the drafting or committee review stage. The recent hearing, however, shows that the momentum may have finally shifted. There was key discussion about how regulation could help with consumer protection, and subcommittee members spoke in favor of regulating online poker in particular. Perhaps surprisingly, the National District Attorney’s Association issued a statement supporting online poker. Likewise, the National Council on Problem Gambling, while recognizing that online gambling may increase the danger of gambling addiction, explained how technology could be used to help combat compulsive gambling more effectively in an online setting than in traditional casinos. Finally, former FBI Director Louis Freeh submitted testimony in favor of regulating online poker. Given the potentially large source of revenue that taxing and regulating online gambling could bring to federal and state governments, along with its widespread popular support, it is time for Congress to stop forcing online gambling underground, and instead license and regulate it to provide a safe environment for the players and much needed revenue for the government.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Quiet Revolution in Patent Law Dominance: The Rise of Suffolk University Law School in Boston’s Top Patent Firms
Betsy G. Roberti, Administrative Director of Academic Concentrations
Richard Buckingham, Electronic Services/Legal Reference Librarian
Professor Michael L. Rustad, Thomas F. Lambert Jr. Professor of Law and Co-Director of the IP Concentration
During the summer of 2011, the Concentrations, the Career Development Office and the Law Library embarked upon an empirical study, focusing particularly on where patent lawyers in Boston’s top-ranked IP firms had graduated from law school. Our goal was to determine which law school was the training ground for the most patent lawyers in Boston.
To gather data, we engaged in a comprehensive study of partners, associates, and non-attorneys working in patent law in Boston, based on the Avery Index of Top Patent Firms in Boston.* Our study took place from June 21st –24th, 2011, using the websites of the top 26 Boston patent firms to identify individuals working in some area of patent law. The graphs below were compiled using the data collected from the online biographical information about these individuals found on their firm websites. For a further explanation of the study’s methodology go to: http://www.law.suffolk.edu/academic/patentdata/methodology.cfm.
Take a quick look at the empirical findings of our study to see how Suffolk not only prevailed, but dominated, in the majority of categories considered.
Finding #1: Suffolk trained the largest number of partners, non-partner attorneys, and technology specialists working in patent law.
Without a doubt, with 149 alumni and current students, Suffolk trained the largest number of individuals in the study. In fact, the next school ranked a distant second, with only 75, or half as many as Suffolk.
Moreover, Suffolk dominated in the number of United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) registered patent attorneys and patent agents. In the top Boston patent firms, 131 of the USPTO registrants were Suffolk graduates and students. The second ranked law school had a scant 39, or one third as many patent prosecutors registered with the USPTO.
Finding #2: Suffolk has the most working partners, shareholders, and principals in the top patent firms in Boston.
Suffolk University’s 56 patent law partners outrank the second school’s 53 partners working in the Avery Index’s top law firms.
Finding #3: Suffolk trained the most associates or non-partner attorneys in Boston’s top patent law firms.
Here again, Suffolk demonstrates great strength, with 65 associates working in the top patent firms having graduated from Suffolk University Law School. The next-ranked school placed a distant second, with 35 associates. This dramatic finding demonstrates that the top patent law firms are recruiting new patent lawyers from Suffolk’s IP program.
Finding #4: Suffolk has trained the largest number of patent lawyers and technology specialists with doctorates in scientific fields.
Suffolk has the most patent attorneys and technology specialists with a Ph.D.—66 in all who are practicing. That’s seven times more graduates and current students with doctorates in the top patent firms in Boston than the next ranked school, which has just 9.
Our Intellectual Property Law program is ranked 26th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Nevertheless, the untold story is how dominant Suffolk’s position is in placing their graduates in elite patent firms.
The reasons for Suffolk’s Quiet Revolution in Placing Graduates in the top patent firms are clear:
•Our extensive IP curriculum, featuring skills courses such as Patent Litigation Seminar and Practice Before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, advanced electives such as International Intellectual Property, and traditional IP courses such as Copyright Law, Trademark Law, Trade Secrets, Internet Law, and Entertainment Law, all taught by our elite IP faculty whose internationally-recognized scholarship places them at the forefront of the legal academe. Our unique specialization in Patent Law with our IP Concentration further allows us to offer the widest variety of patent-related courses in the region.
•Our evening division, which allows students with a scientific or engineering background to be employed by elite Boston IP law firms as patent agents or technology specialists during the day, and, in turn have their legal education be underwritten by their employers at night. This arrangement provides our students with a tremendous grounding in both academic and practical IP law, and gives them a distinct advantage for employment with both boutique intellectual property law firms and within the IP departments of elite law firms upon graduation.
•Our extra-curricular opportunities, including our cutting-edge, online Journal of High Technology Law, our patent law and trademark law moot court teams, our internship placements with private IP law firms and technology companies throughout metropolitan Boston, and our numerous continuing legal education programs featuring the leaders of the IP bench and bar. These offerings allow our students enter the legal job market poised to embrace the multi-faceted opportunities available to IP litigators and prosecutors.
•Our location in the hub of one of the fastest growing biotechnology, software, and telecommunications centers in the country. Suffolk's recent prominence in patent law is in part due to its location in the heart of downtown Boston. In this specialized, rapidly growing area of law, high technology companies increasingly turn to Boston's law firms to protect their intangible intellectual property rights. And our study shows that these firms are increasingly staffed with our well-trained and prepared graduates.
* The Avery Index, (http://www.averyindex.com/patent_city_firms.php?city=Boston&st=MA), is a reliable and independent law firm ranking of patent lawyers in Boston’s leading IP firms. The 10 largest Avery Index top patent law firms were: Boston’s Fish and Richardson, P.C.; Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C.; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP; Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP (formerly Lahive & Cockfield); Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP (now Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP); Goodwin Procter LLP; Ropes & Gray LLP; K & L Gates LLP; and Foley Hoag LLP.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
A New Business Strategy in the Technology Industry
Photo Courtesy of Honou
Apple and Samsung have been locked in an intense patent battle for months. Following drawn out litigation, the Federal Court of Australia awarded an interlocutory injunction to Apple, keeping the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 off the Australian market until a full patent trial takes place. This ruling came just before Judge Koh of the U.S. District Court for Northern California ruled that Samsung’s device does indeed violate American patents held by Apple. These rulings come on top of other major losses suffered by the company in the Netherlands and Germany, where the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been barred from sale.
Despite these enormous setbacks, Samsung is not backing down. On October 17, just days after its debut, Samsung put Apple’s iPhone 4S squarely in its sites. The company filed an injunction request in Australia and a similar suit in Japan arguing that Apple’s iPhone 4S violates wireless and user interface patents that the company holds in those countries.
However, these are not the only technology giants who have made patent litigation a core element of their business. In August, Google spent $12.5 billion to acquire smartphone manufacturer Motorola Mobility. Google CEO and co-founder Larry Page was not shy in revealing the company’s main purpose for shelling out such a large amount of cash for a company that is already a Google customer. Page stated that the move would “strenthe[n] the company’s portfolio” and better enable the company “to protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple, and other companies.” Moves like this that have led some experts to declare the existence of an “arms race” in the technology sector with companies competing to stockpile patents as insurance against potentially costly litigation.
Over the coming decade, we will have to pay attention to see if this hostility in the industry continues to cause an increase in patent litigation or, instead, results in something more cooperative. Some have suggested that the result of the current state will be cross-licensing deals between tech companies. With more patents in their portfolios, companies will be well positioned to negotiate agreements with other companies to not sue each other in a specific field. Such deals will allow companies on both sides of the deal to concentrate more time and money on continued innovation. However, if this is not the case, there is a strong possibility that companies could bring their business overseas to avoid the particularly litigious nature of the American patent system.
Dan Ravicher, executive director of the Public Patent Foundation, rather ominously summarized the current state of affairs when he said, “With arms races, we can only have peace through a lot of fear.”
Odysseus Lives: The New Face of the Trojan Horse in Modern Warfare
Photo courtesy of The Hacker News
Warfare in the modern context is almost unrecognizable from what it was less than 100 years ago. Where the primary concerns of World War I were the use of barbed wire and mustard gas, today warfare is fought using an amalgamation of manpower and cyber-technology. With the battlefield changing shape, so too does U.S. policy toward the conduct of international conflict. This is particularly evident in the Obama Administration’s revelation that it considered infiltrating Libyan defense infrastructures to delay radars from discovering NATO planes. The administration abstained from the tactic, stating that it did not want to set a precedent for countries such as Russia and China to utilize such strategies in the future. This begs the question: has cyber-warfare become such a concern as to require a multi-lateral treaty?
Modern concepts of the laws of war followed closely in the wake of various horrors faced in World War I and II. After the WWI, the international community, realizing the tremendous humanitarian costs of using chemical and biological weapons, adopted the Geneva Protocols. The 1949 Geneva Conventions placed further limitations on the attack of hospitals, field ambulances and non-military medical personal. The 1983 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons established the gradual abolition of anti-personnel mines; recognizing the extreme danger to civilian populations, primarily children, decades after a war’s end.
Pentagon reports suggest that the United States military infrastructure is subject to regular attacks by computer hackers from countries such as Russia and China. A noticeable upsurge in cyber-assaults on the U.S. began when a U.S. spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet in 2001. After that date, attacks from anonymous sources skyrocketed. On an international scale, Russia has been accused of hacking into Georgian networks in its 2009 conflict with the nation. Also in 2009, Indian terrorists hijacked GPS networks in orchestrating their assault on Mumbai civilians.
Following these events, President Obama proposed an internal strategy in order to address cyber-threats. The proposal called for the creation of a Cyber-security Coordinator and modest collaboration between state and local governments focusing mainly on internal prevention. Noticeably absent from the President’s plan was a strategy for international cooperation. Later in 2009, when the Russian Federation proposed a non-proliferation treaty with the United States, the U.S. walked away from the negotiating table citing a reluctance to impose any restrictions upon the Internet as a free speech medium. The proposal would have placed limitations on signatory governments from targeting civilians, or using certain malicious codes, similar to the international approach toward the utilization of chemical weapons.
Despite this suggestion, the U.S. decided to rely upon its allies to build upon its infrastructure. It’s noteworthy that the United States is a member of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cyber-crime, but this convention merely agrees that signatories will impose regulation and penalties for certain cyber-crimes. In September of 2011, the U.S. and Australia added cyber-warfare to their joint defense agreement, continuing the U.S.’s trend toward working with allies in this area. Although these measures are a step in the right direction, they are between friendly nations. They do not restrict other nations from leading a digital offensive against the U.S. or other friendly countries in times of war. As a result, the world essentially remains the same.
The interconnectivity that the Internet offers present a tremendous danger to armed combatants and bystanders across the world. Although treaties such as the Geneva Protocol limits attacks on ambulances and non-military medical personnel in war, no treaty exists which prohibits the use of malicious code to cripple a hospital’s network or to disable targeting systems so as to cause weapons to miss their targets. The U.S.’s proposed, but unexecuted, approach toward Libya shows the reality of these scenarios. Furthermore, the U.S.’s technological dependence clearly shows that without these limitations in place the U.S. have a lot more to lose in the event of a cyber-offensive.
© Copyright 2010 The Journal of High Technology Law, Suffolk University Law School
Suite 450B | 120 Tremont Street | Boston | MA | 02108-4977 | Legal and Copyright Information