Category Archives: Announcements

ILPC launches new report: ‘Protecting Sources and Whistleblowers in a Digital Age’

front-page-snippet-download-the-reportThe emergence of an everyday digital culture and the increasing use of legal instruments by state actors to collect and access communications data has led to growing concern about the protection of journalistic sources and whistleblowers.

With the support of Guardian News and Media, the Information Law and Policy Centre has published a new report to consider these developments entitled ‘Protecting Sources and Whistleblowers in a Digital Age’. The report is open access and available for download.

Authored by Dr Judith Townend and Dr Richard Danbury, the report analyses how technological advances expose journalists and their sources to interference by state actors, corporate entities or individuals.

The report also looks at how journalists can reduce threats to whistleblowing; examines the rights and responsibilities of journalists, whistleblowers and lawmakers; and makes a number of positive recommendations for policymakers, journalists, NGOs and researchers.

The report’s findings are based on discussions with 25 investigative journalists, representatives from relevant NGOs and media organisations, media lawyers and specialist researchers in September 2016.

Protecting Sources and Whistleblowers in a Digital Age was officially launched on 22 February 2017 at the House of Lords.

Alongside the report, the Information Policy Law and Policy Centre has also published a range of open access resources on journalistic sources and whistleblowing which are available here.

Information Law and Policy Centre appoints new director

n__ni_loideain new director of the Information Law and Policy CentreDr Nora Ni Loideain, a scholar in governance, human rights and technology, has been appointed director of the Information Law and Policy Centre (ILPC) at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), one of nine research institutes of the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Currently a postdoctoral research associate for the technology and democracy project at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), Dr Ni Loideain takes up her new role at IALS in May.

The Information Law and Policy Centre opened in 2015. Its mission is to extend the institute’s research into how law both restricts and enables the sharing and dissemination of different types of information and provide a physical and virtual meeting place for those active in the area.

Issues the Centre will look at include data access and ownership rights, privacy and confidentiality, the malicious use and misuse of data, freedom of information and legal publishing (both commercial and free-to-internet). It is also interested in trends in scholarly communication relating to legal studies.

Dr Ni Loideain was awarded her PhD in law from the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research examined the impact of the ‘right to privacy’ on the EU Data Retention Directive which mandated the mass retention of EU citizens’ communications metadata for national security and law enforcement purposes.

Previously she clerked for the Irish Supreme Court and was a legal and policy officer for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions of Ireland. Her research interests and publications focus on governance, human rights and technology, particularly in the fields of digital privacy, data protection and state surveillance.

She is also an affiliated lecturer at the Cambridge Faculty of Law, a visiting lecturer for the LL.M. Privacy and Information Law module at King’s College London and a senior research fellow at the University of Johannesburg’s Faculty of Humanities.

‘The institute welcomes Dr Ni Loideain to contribute to this dynamic area of interdisciplinary research on information law and policy which affects everyone’s daily life,’ says Jules Winterton, director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

‘Under Dr Ni Loideain’s leadership the Centre will provide a base for important and timely academic activity in this area, pursuing its own research and also aligning with the institute’s mission to promote and facilitate the research of others in the UK and beyond.’

Commenting on her new role, Dr Ni Loideain confirms she is ‘delighted to have been appointed as the director of the Information Law and Policy Centre. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the excellent work of the Centre and to carry on the successes of the previous director, Dr Judith Townend.’

Update from the Information Law and Policy Centre

A reflection on what we’ve achieved to date, and a preview of what lies ahead for 2016/17

It is now 18 months since the official launch of the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

As the Centre’s first director, Dr Judith Townend, moves onto a new post at the University of Sussex, we thought it would be an opportune moment to offer you a brief summary of some of the Centre’s activities so far.

The Centre was launched in February 2015 with a remit to provide opportunities for academics, lawyers, policymakers, journalists, NGOs, charities and other parties to explore the way information and data is controlled, shared and disseminated.

As well as a small academic staff, its members include a number of associate research fellows based at various UK universities, and visiting fellows from around the world. An expert Advisory Board has helped us develop our programme of research.

At the launch event, presentations were given on topics as diverse as institutional data sharing, privacy vigilantism and cybersecurity. In the evening, Timothy Pitt-Payne QC, barrister at 11KBW and specialist in information rights, gave an informative and entertaining talk entitled ‘Does Privacy Matter?’

After an encouraging start, the Centre pursued a variety of inter-related research avenues.

One of the Centre’s main areas of interest during this period has been the progress of the Investigatory Powers Bill. During 2015, a team led by Professor Lorna Woods sought to establish the legal provenance of as many clauses in the draft Investigatory Powers Bill as possible. The Centre also collated commentary and other materials related to the Bill. These online resources support research into issues raised by the Bill around privacy, security and data sharing.

The Centre has also taken an active interest in the government’s Prevent strategy and the potential impact on freedom of expression and academic freedom brought about by the enforcement of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. In October 2015, in collaboration with the Human Rights Consortium at the School of Advanced Study, the Information Law and Policy Centre held a one day event considering how the Act might affect universities, their staff and students. The keynote was delivered by the Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable.

The Centre’s work on intellectual property law, led by Dr Christina Angelopoulos (who will be taking up a post at the University of Cambridge in October), has focused primarily on the law of copyright. The Centre has been particularly interested in the relationship between human rights and copyright, the issue of intermediary liability for copyright infringement and the need to re-evaluate the position of copyright in the modern economic and technological landscape. Most recently the centre hosted the launch of Angela Daly’s new book on the legal implications of 3D printing for copyright law.

More broadly, the Information Law and Policy Centre has also contributed to events coordinated by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. In particular, the Centre has assisted with a number of events exploring the humanity of law including ‘The Humanity of Judging‘, ‘Judgecraft and Emotions’ and ‘The Humanity of Barristers: Stories from the Bar’. In June 2016, the Centre helped organised an exhibition of drawings from the UK Supreme Court and other courts which provide artist Isobel Williams’ perspective on the human participants involved in legal proceedings.

In between times, the Centre has considered a range of other issues including access to courts data and the principle of open justice, freedom of information and expression, the right to be forgotten, whistleblowing in the digital age, and the interaction of UK law with the EU in relation to the EU referendum.

Speakers have included the Scottish Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew, Heather Rogers QC, former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression Frank La Rue, Dominic Grieve QC MP,  Jessica Simor QC, and investigative journalists Heather Brooke and Ewen Macaskill. Numerous academics have joined discussion panels or led seminars; among these were Dr Judith Bannister, Professor Eric Barendt, Professor Ian Cram, and Professor Lilian Edwards.

We have offered training in law and ethics for research, and on public policy engagement for PhD students and early career researchers. A list of resources from our events and training can be found here.

We believe the Centre has had a strong start over the last 18 months and we would like to thank you for all your support of the Information Law and Policy Centre during this time. The Centre is only successful because of those of you who have attended events, given presentations, written guest blog posts, contributed to our research activities and encouraged us in the Centre’s work. We are especially grateful to our excellent advisors – both official and unofficial – and to all the external organisations and institutions with which we have partnered.

And more events are to come! Activities for autumn 2016 include ongoing research on protection for whistleblowers and journalists, an annual workshop themed on information control and human rights sponsored by Bloomsbury’s Communications Law journal (9th November), and a seminar and panel discussion at London’s Free Word Centre to celebrate 250 years since Freedom of Information took root in Sweden in 1766 (8th December).

Looking ahead, we hope the Information Law and Policy Centre has an important contribution to make in the future bringing together academics, policymakers and practitioners in this field to discuss and research these issues.

As such, we are looking forward to seeing how the Information Law and Policy Centre develops under a new Director who will be appointed in the near future: the post will be advertised shortly via the University of London website.

For inquiries about the Centre’s activities, please contact our part-time research assistant Dr Daniel Bennett (daniel.bennett@sas.ac.uk).

 

 

 

Call for Papers: Restricted and Redacted – Where now for human rights and digital information control?

Restricted and Redacted: Where now for human rights and digital information control?

We are pleased to announce this call for papers for the annual IALS’ Information Law and Policy Centre research workshop on 9 November 2016 in London, this year supported by Bloomsbury’s Communications Law journal. You can read about our first event in 2015 here.

We are looking for high quality and focused contributions that consider information law and policy in the context of human rights. Whether based on doctrinal analysis or empirical social research, papers should offer an original perspective on the way in which information and data interact with fundamental rights, which may, for example include legal rights and principles relating to free expression, privacy, data protection, reputation, copyright, national security, anti-discrimination and open justice.

Topics of particular interest in 2016 include: internet intermediary liability, investigatory and surveillance powers, media regulation, freedom of information, the EU General Data Protection Regulation, whistleblower protection, and ‘anti-extremism’ policy.

The workshop will take place during the afternoon of Wednesday 9th November 2016 and will be followed by an evening reception and keynote lecture. Attendance will be free of charge thanks to the support of the IALS and our sponsor, although registration will be required as places are limited.

The best papers will be featured in a special issue of Bloomsbury’s Communications Law journal, following a peer review process. Those giving papers will be invited to submit full draft papers to the journal by 18th November 2016 for consideration by the journal’s editorial team.

How to apply:

Please send an abstract of between 250-300 words and brief biographical information to Eliza Boudier, Fellowships and Administrative Officer, IALS: eliza.boudier@sas.ac.uk by Friday 1st July 2016 (5pm, BST). Abstracts will be considered by the Information Law and Policy Centre academic staff and advisors, and the Communications Law journal editorial team.

About the Information Law and Policy Centre at the IALS:

The Information Law and Policy Centre produces, promotes and facilitates research about the law and policy of information and data, and the ways in which law both restricts and enables the sharing and dissemination of different types of information.  It is part of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, which was founded in 1947. It was conceived and is funded as a national academic institution, attached to the University of London, serving all universities through its national legal research library. Its function is to promote, facilitate and disseminate the results of advanced study and research in the discipline of law, for the benefit of persons and institutions in the UK and abroad.

About Communications Law (Journal of Computer, Media and Telecommunications Law):

Communications Law is a well-respected quarterly journal published by Bloomsbury Professional covering the broad spectrum of legal issues arising in the telecoms, IT and media industries. Each issue brings you 32 pages of opinion and discussion from the field of communications law. It is currently edited by Dr Paul Wragg, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Leeds.

Current vacancies in information law and policy

It seems that information law and policy jobs are just like buses … Here are several current opportunities to share with your networks. (If you have any to advertise, please let us know – we are happy to help spread the word).

Our friends at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) at the University of Amsterdam are looking for a PhD researcher in law and a Postdoc researcher in Communication Science/Journalism/Media Studies for a European ERC project Profiling and targeting news readers – implications for the democratic role of the digital media, user rights and public information policy:

Meanwhile, we – the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London – are looking for a temporary part-time assistant. This role is for 2 days a week / 14 hours (with flexibility for vacations) and will be starting in May. Please apply via this link.

Update (11/05/2015): The University of Kent is advertising a funded PhD position available within the H2020 Marie Curie network NeCS, “Network of Excellence in Cyber Security”. This would be to do research in big data, privacy and data protection under the supervision of staff in the Kent Law School and School of Computing. More details at this link.

 

 

Upcoming Event: Intellectual Property and the Politics of Knowledge

Kent Law School, with the support of the Information Law and Policy Centre (IALS, University of London)

  • Date: Friday, 20 May 2016, from 10:15 to 16:30
  • Location: Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), University of London
  • More information available at this link

Although the elusive character of intellectual property’s subject matter might have been a productive dilemma for the development of legal doctrine, the specific mutability of this form of property has also made it into a particularly contested and sensitive area, where different arguments about its legitimations collide. It is in this sense that intellectual property has been a canvas on which identities have been contested; economic and intellectual capital created and accumulated; as well as knowledges and identities wilfully delineated, transformed and managed as ‘assets.’ Intellectual property regimes do not only commoditise knowledge, but also transform the very processes by which it is generated, understood and valued.

The workshop brings together scholars from law, science studies, anthropology, philosophy and sociology to explore many questions concerning the role of intellectual property as a specific mode of governance of intangible knowledge at the present moment in time. Beyond understanding intellectual property as legal techniques of appropriation, the workshop will explore intellectual property and its broader contemporary political, social and cultural meanings: its relation to economic rationality; as a specific mode of governance of different epistemes; and as concrete practices of industrialisation and valorisation.

ip-workshop-london-20-may-2016-poster

For further details, please contact:

Hyo Yoon Kang

Kent Law School, University of Kent

h.y.kang@kent.ac.uk

and

Jose Bellido

Kent Law School, University of Kent

j.a.bellido@kent.ac.uk

Save

New Edition: Concise European Copyright Law

A second edition of the Concise European Copyright Law has been released. The book, edited by Prof. Thomas Dreier and Prof. Bernt Hugenholtz and published by Kluwer Law International in January 2016, provides a compact commentary on the modern EU-level copyright framework, covering both the EU directives adopted in the field, as well as the main international conventions that have had an impact on it. It thus constitutes an invaluable resource for anybody interested in the area.

As the publisher describes:

Concise European Copyright Law aims to offer the reader a rapid understanding of all the provisions of copyright law in force in Europe that have been enacted at the European and international levels. This volume takes the form of an article-by-article commentary on the relevant European directives and international treaties in the field of copyright and neighbouring rights. It is intended to provide the reader with a short and straightforward explanation of the principles of law to be drawn from each provision. Editors and authors are prominent specialists (academics and practitioners) in the field of international and European copyright law.

Concise European Copyright Law is part of ‘Concise IP’, a series of five volumes of commentary on European intellectual property legislation. The five volumes cover: Patents and related matters, Trademarks and designs, Copyrights and neighbouring rights, IT and a general volume including jurisdictional issues.

The book has been comprehensively updated since the first edition was published in 2006. The new edition features a chapter on the 2006 consolidated Term Directive, as amended by the 2011 Term Extension Directive, by Christina Angelopoulos, researcher at IALS Information Law and Policy Centre. The chapter was written while the author was based at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam.

Upcoming Conference: Copyright, Related Rights and the News in the EU – Assessing Potential New Laws

CIPIL University of Cambridge, hosted at IViR, University of Amsterdam

  • Date: Saturday, 23 April 2016, from 10:00 t0 17:30 (CET)
  • Location: University of Amsterdam, Agnietenkapel , Oudezijds Voorburgwal 229 – 231, 1012 EZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Registration at this link

The difficulties of commercial journalism
Like music and other branches of publishing, commercial news journalism has faced radical challenges over the last two decades. There is talk of the “death of the newspaper” and questions have been raised about the very future of journalism. While with music, books and films, the greatest threat to existing business models have been seen as the unauthorised and unremunerated home copying and peer-to-peer distribution, with commercial news journalism much of the challenge derives from the fact that advertising has not followed the shift of print-newspapers to the Internet. Such difficulties are compounded, from the point of view of news publishers, by the relatively free availability of news from other online sources. And they’ve been further compounded by the recent rise of social media, particularly Facebook, as a main route to the news.

Questions that arise
Is there sufficient rationale to alter copyright or related laws in a way that benefits news publishers? Should commercial news publishers benefit from any change in the law, given that other means exist for gathering and disseminating news? How strong is an economic case for such a right? To what extent is any economic case for change supplemented by other arguments, such as reward and natural rights arguments, and arguments about media plurality? Should European law treat news publishers in a similar way to other content producers, such as phonogram producers and broadcasters, who benefit from a related right? Would individual journalists benefit from a right afforded to news publishers, and if so, to what extent? Should news publishers benefit from levies and compensation schemes designed to benefit author-journalists?

A one day conference at IViR will seek to address these questions. The conference is part of a two-year, AHRC funded project at CIPIL, Cambridge University, entitled Appraising Potential Legal Responses to Threats to the Production of  News in a Digital Environment, which the IViR will kindly host and facilitate.

The conference brings together an interdisciplinary combination of academics and practitioners to discuss the issue. Representatives from news producing, publishing and disseminating organizations, both traditional and online, have been invited and speakers will include Andrew Hughes from the NLA Media Access. Academic speakers include Lionel Bently and John Naughton from Cambridge; Bernt Hugenholtz and Mireille van Eechoud from IViR; Ian Hargreaves from Cardiff University; Raquel Xalabarder (UOC Barcelona) and Jan Hegemann (FU Berlin).

For further information contact:
Dr Richard Danbury
Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law,
University of Cambridge
Rmd59@cam.ac.uk

Deadline reminder for Winchester #TRILcon16 and Big Data studentship

Two reminders from our information law colleagues at the University of Winchester:

Paper deadline for 3rd Winchester Conference on Trust, Risk, Information & the Law 

The 3rd Winchester Conference on Trust, Risk, Information & the Law will be held on 27 April 2016 with the overall theme of ‘information is power’.  Keynote speakers will be Professor Sir David Omand, former Director of GCHQ, and Renate Samson, CEO of Big Brother Watch, and the UK’s Digital Catapult will chair a special session on trust and data issues.  Papers are welcome on any aspect of the conference theme and the deadline for submissions is 29 January.

More information can be found at this link.


Big Data studentship

Big Data studentship at University of Winchester in collaboration with the Office for National Statistics:

With a specific focus on practice-based research, this is an exciting opportunity to work in an area of academia which has the potential to make a significant and tangible impact on the ongoing debate about the involvement of Government in Big Data. The Student will have the opportunity to work with the ONS Big Data team on an advisory basis.

Project proposals are particularly welcomed on:

  • Questions involving Big Data;
  • Government and the State;
  • Legal, ethical and public perception issues;
  • Controversial types of data mining (such as use of Twitter data and mobile phone data).

For more information, please visit this linkDeadline is 28 February.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (LAHP) studentships at the School of Advanced Study

A number of AHRC-funded studentships are available for postgraduate research students in Law at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Please see the IALS website, and consult with the SAS Registry (SAS.Registry@sas.ac.uk) about the opportunities for research study before making your application, either for a place to study or for a studentship.

Before applying for an studentship, applicants wishing to study in the School of Advanced Study should make an application for a place to study here; and we recommend that students wishing to apply for a LAHP studentship should apply for their place before 15 January 2016. The LAHP studentship application deadline is then midnight (GMT) on 29 January 2016.

For full details of how to apply for a LAHP studentship, including eligibility requirements, see http://www.lahp.ac.uk/apply-for-a-studentship/. The LAHP application form will be available via the online portal on 1 December 2015. Further information is available on the AHRC website, or from info@lahp.ac.uk.

The School is part of the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), which has up to 80 multi-institutional studentships per year available for postgraduate research students studying arts and humanities disciplines across King’s College London, School of Advanced Study or University College London. Awards commence October 2016 and cover tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant (stipend), for three years.


Information about research opportunities at the Information Law and Policy Centre can be found here.