Monthly Archives: May 2015

Visit the School of Advanced Study on 10th June 2015 for mini festival and student open day

The IALS’ parent institution, the School of Advanced Study, is holding a special event at Senate House on Wednesday 10 June: a one-day mini-festival of the humanities and student open day. Dr Judith Townend (director of the Centre for Law & Information Policy) will be there and participating in a panel on the digital humanities.

This event (1–5pm) will showcase the School’s vast array of resources including information about postgraduate courses, research training, libraries, archives and digital tools. Ideal for undergraduates as well as early career researchers, the day will include:

  • 12pm and 2pm:
    • Ministry of Information‘ themed tours of Senate House (ticketed separately)
  • 2pm:
    • A ‘Human Library‘ where you can find out more about the fantastic Harry Price Library of Magical Literature and other library treasures
    • Tours of the Institute of Historical Research
  • 3pm:
    • Meet the Academics – opportunities to network with our academics, alumni and prospective students and a raffle to win a tour up the Senate House Tower and other prizes
  • 3.30pm:
    • Senate House Library tour
  • 4pm:
    • panel discussion on digital humanities with Dr Judith Townend (director of the Centre for Law & Information Policy), Dr Matt Phillpott (SAS-Space Manager) and other speakers
  • Throughout the day:
    • Open day stands in Chancellor’s Hall by our Institutes, Senate House Library, SAS Registry, Student Central and the Careers Group; tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

The day will culminate with a wine reception and celebration of the 2015 Being Human festival winners of the UK-wide funding competition (5.15–8pm).

Do join us on Twitter by using the hashtag #SASOpenDay and join on Facebook.

Please note that if you are interested in joining one of the tours of Senate House, you will have to register for the specific time to guarantee a place.

  • If you are interested in starting a degree at the School, please let us know what institute/staff member you are looking forward to meeting. The courses available in 2015/16 can be found here:


Q&A with Professor Katherine Biber – legal scholar, historian and criminologist

Katherine-BiberProfessor Katherine Biber is a visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, where her research explores the handling of criminal evidence outside the courtroom and after the conclusion of a trial. On 11th June she will take part in the Illicit Images workshop at the IALS, speaking on  “Redacted readymades: art from bureaucratic secrets”.

She kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her work….

Tell us a bit about yourself and your work ….
I am a legal scholar, historian and criminologist at the University of Technology Sydney, in Australia. My research focuses on criminal evidence, particularly visual evidence. I study that way that photographs and other visual sources are used and interpreted within the legal process, and also how evidentiary materials continue to proliferate outside of, and after, the trial.

How does your work relate to information/communication law and policy?
Some of my research looks at principles and practices of open justice. It investigates the processes by which users might access evidentiary materials from courts. I have found that whilst some of this material is released following a judicial decision – where the principles of open justice might be considered explicitly – a great deal of this material is released in the shadow of the law. It might be released by court registrars, court information officers, court media officers, or by some other kind of processes, which are highly variable, and which are also very difficult to research.

What have you done while you have been at the IALS? What have been the most valuable activities?
I have been working on a book manuscript. I am writing a book [provisionally] titled In Crime’s Archive: The Cultural Afterlife of Evidence, due to be published by Routledge in 2016. I’ve been speaking to curators, scholars, artists, playwrights, poets, lawyers and judges about how criminal evidentiary material continues to ‘live’ after its probative value has expired. I’ve been attending exhibitions and events, as London is an incredibly rich and inspiring place to see creative and curatorial work.

Tell us about the Illicit Images event and what that’s about ….
Illicit Images is an opportunity for four scholars to have a dialogue about how legal images might be examined and understood. Each of us draws upon a different group of images from specific times and places, and each of us will set out some of the questions raised for legal and cultural scholarship by ‘difficult’ images. These are questions about the making of these images, their display, their manipulation and how their meanings might change with the passage of time. Three of the speakers are legal scholars, and one (Peter Doyle) is a curator, crime fiction author, musician and media scholar. It will be a lively event, and one that I hope is the beginning of a longer conversation.

What are your future plans for research?
I am starting to think about writing a legal biography of Jimmy Governor. Governor was an Aboriginal farm worker who, in 1900, murdered white women and children on the Australian frontier. His capture and trial, immediately before Australian Federation, marks his experience of the criminal process as very unusual and distinctive. I am interested in tracing the extent to which Federation provides a context for interpreting his crimes, his capture, his trial, his appeal, and his eventual execution.

Thank you!

For further details about Professor Biber’s work please see her profile at UTS. Sign up for the Illicit Images workshop, organised by the IALS in collaboration with Birkeck, University of London, here.

Dear MPs: We need greater scrutiny of surveillance laws

This morning all 650 MPs received a letter from a group of 38 academics asking them to ensure that any changes in the law on surveillance, and especially any expansions of power, are fully and transparently vetted by Parliament, and open to consultation from the public and all relevant stakeholders.

The co-ordinators of the letter, Professor Andrew Murray (LSE) and Dr Paul Bernal (UEA) explain more on their blogs here and here. The letter can be downloaded here and is reproduced in full below. The Guardian reports on it here. I am among the signatories.

An open letter to all members of the House of Commons

Dear Parliamentarian,

Ensuring the Rule of Law and the democratic process is respected as UK surveillance law is revised

Actions Taken Under the Previous Government

During the past two years, the United Kingdom’s surveillance laws and policies have come under scrutiny as the increasingly expansive and intrusive powers of the state have been revealed and questioned in the media. Such introspection is healthy for any democracy. However, despite a need for transparency in all areas of lawmaking, and in particular in areas of controversy, the previous Government repeatedly resisted calls for an open and transparent assessment and critique of UK surveillance powers. Instead, in response to legal challenges, it extended the powers of the state in the guise of draft Codes of Practice and “clarifying amendments.” As we welcome a new Government we expect another round of revisions to UK surveillance laws, with the likelihood that the Queen’s Speech will signal a revival of the Communications Data Bill. At this time we call on the new Government, and the members of the House, to ensure that any changes in the law, and especially any expansions of power, are fully and transparently vetted by Parliament, and open to consultation from the public and all relevant stakeholders.

Last year, in response to the introduction of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (“DRIP”), a number of leading academics in the field – including many of the signatories to this letter – called for full and proper parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill to ensure Parliamentarians were not misled as to what powers it truly contained. Our concern emanated from the Home Secretary’s attempt to characterise the Bill, which substantially expanded investigatory powers, as merely a re-affirmation of the pre-existing data retention regime.[1]

Since that letter was written, it has become apparent that the introduction of the DRIP Bill was not the only time an expansion of surveillance powers was presented in a way seemingly designed to stifle robust democratic consideration. In February 2015, the Home Office published the draft Equipment Interference Code of Practice.[2] The draft Code was the first time the intelligence services openly sought specific authorisation to hack computers both within and outside the UK. Hacking is a much more intrusive form of surveillance than any previously authorised by Parliament. It also threatens the security of all internet services as the tools intelligence services use to hack can create or maintain security vulnerabilities that may be used by criminals to commit criminal acts and other governments to invade our privacy. The Government, though, sought to authorise its hacking, not through primary legislation and full Parliamentary consideration, but via a Code of Practice.

The previous Government also introduced an amendment via the Serious Crimes Act 2015, described in the explanatory notes to the Bill as a ‘clarifying amendment’.[3] The amendment effectively exempts the police and intelligence services from criminal liability for hacking. This has had an immediate impact on the ongoing litigation of several organisations who are suing the Government based in part on the law amended, the Computer Misuse Act 1990.[4]

The Way Ahead

The new Conservative Government has announced its intention to propose new surveillance powers through a resurrection of the Communications Data Bill. This will require internet and mobile phone companies to keep records of customers’ browsing activity, social media use, emails, voice calls, online gaming and text messages for a year, and to make that information available to the government and security services. We also anticipate this Parliament will see a review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which currently regulates much of the Government’s surveillance powers. The Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, has conducted an independent review of the operation and regulation of investigatory powers, with specific reference to the interception of communications and communications data. The report of that review has been submitted to the Prime Minister, but has yet to be made public: when it is made public, parliamentary scrutiny of the report and any recommendations made following it will be essential.

As the law requires that surveillance powers must be employed proportionate to any harm to privacy caused (as required by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) we believe that any expansion or change to the UK’s surveillance powers should be proposed in primary legislation and clearly and accurately described in the explanatory notes of any Bill. The Bill and its consequences must then be fully and frankly debated in Parliament. When reaching an assessment of the proportionality, of any measure that restricts rights, both our domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights place great stock on the degree and quality of Parliamentary involvement prior to any measure being adopted. If the matter ever came to before the courts one issue examined would be the nature of any “exacting review” undertaken by MPs into the necessity of extending these powers. The Government should not be permitted to surreptitiously change the law whenever it so desires, especially where such changes put our privacy and security at risk.

This letter has been prepared and signed by 38 academic researchers. We are comprised of people from both sides of this issue – those who believe that increased powers are a reasonable response to an emerging threat, and those who think them an unjustified extension of state interference. Our common goal is to see the Rule of Law applied and Parliamentary oversight reasserted. We are calling on all members of the House of Commons, new and returning, and of all political persuasions to support us in this by ensuring Parliamentary scrutiny is applied to all developments in UK surveillance laws and powers as proposed by the current Government.



Andrew Murray (contact signatory) – Professor of Law, London School of Economics

Paul Bernal (contact signatory) – Lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law University of East Anglia

Anne Barron – Associate Professor of Law, London School of Economics

Subhajit Basu – Associate Professor of Law, University of Leeds

Sally Broughton Micova – Deputy Director LSE Media Policy Project, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics

Abbe E.L. Brown – Senior Lecturer, School of Law, University of Aberdeen

Ian Brown – Professor of Information Security and Privacy, Oxford Internet Institute

Ray Corrigan – Senior Lecturer in Maths, Computing and Technology, Open University

Angela Daly – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology

Richard Danbury – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

Catherine Easton – Lecturer in Law, Lancaster University School of Law

Lilian Edwards – Professor of E-Governance, Strathclyde University

Andres Guadamuz – Senior Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law, University of Sussex

Edina Harbinja – Lecturer in Law, University of Hertfordshire

Julia Hörnle – Professor in Internet Law, Queen Mary University of London

Argyro P Karanasiou – Senior Lecturer in Law, Centre for Intellectual Property, Policy & Management (CIPPM), Bournemouth University

Theodore Konstadinides – Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Surrey

Douwe Korff – Emeritus Professor of International Law, London Metropolitan University, Associate of the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford

Mark Leiser – Postgraduate Researcher, Strathclyde University

Orla Lynskey – Assistant Professor of Law, London School of Economics

David Mead – Professor of UK Human Rights Law, UEA Law School, University of East Anglia

Robin Mansell – Professor, Department of Media and Communication, London School of Economics

Chris Marsden – Professor of Law, University of Sussex

Steve Peers – Professor of Law, University of Essex

Gavin Phillipson – Professor, Law School, University of Durham

Julia Powles – Researcher, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge

Andrew Puddephatt – Executive Director, Global Partners Digital

Judith Rauhofer – Lecturer in IT Law, University of Edinburgh

Chris Reed – Professor of Electronic Commerce Law, Queen Mary University of London

Felipe Romero-Moreno – Lecturer in Law, University of Hertfordshire

Burkhard Schafer – Professor of Computational Legal Theory, University of Edinburgh

Joseph Savirimuthu – Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Liverpool

Andrew Scott – Associate Professor of Law, London School of Economics

Peter Sommer – Visiting Professor, Cyber Security Centre, De Montfort University

Gavin Sutter – Senior Lecturer in Media Law, Queen Mary University of London

Judith Townend – Director of the Centre for Law and Information Policy, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London

Asma Vranaki – Post-Doctoral Researcher in Cloud Computing, Queen Mary University of London

Lorna Woods – Professor of Law, University of Essex







Open Letter to Google From 80 Internet Scholars: Release RTBF Compliance Data

I am among the signatories of a letter from 80 academics  to Google, asking for more data and transparency on ‘right to be forgotten’ or de-listing decisions and policy, following the ECJ’s judgment in Google Spain v AEPD and Mario Costeja González in May last year. Importantly, this letter unites scholars with a range of views about the merits of the ruling: some think it rightfully vindicates individual data protection/privacy interests. Others think it unduly burdens freedom of expression and information retrieval. Many think it depends on the facts. But we all believe that implementation of the ruling should be much more transparent. The letter was published in full on the Guardian site and reported (with a response from Google) here. Professor Ellen Goodman has published it on Medium here. Hats off to Julia Powles, University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law (@juliapowles) and Ellen P. Goodman, Rutgers University School of Law (@ellgood) for pulling it together in time for the anniversary of the decision’s publication. More academic commentary can be found here.

The letter in full

What We Seek

Aggregate data about how Google is responding to the >250,000 requests to delist links thought to contravene data protection from name search results. We should know if the anecdotal evidence of Google’s process is representative: What sort of information typically gets delisted (e.g., personal health) and what sort typically does not (e.g., about a public figure), in what proportions and in what countries?

Why It’s Important

Google and other search engines have been enlisted to make decisions about the proper balance between personal privacy and access to information. The vast majority of these decisions face no public scrutiny, though they shape public discourse. What’s more, the values at work in this process will/should inform information policy around the world. A fact-free debate about the RTBF is in no one’s interest.

Why Google

Google is not the only search engine, but no other private entity or Data Protection Authority has processed anywhere near the same number of requests (most have dealt with several hundred at most). Google has by far the best data on the kinds of requests being made, the most developed guidelines for handling them, and the most say in balancing informational privacy with access in search. We address this letter to Google, but the request goes out to all search engines subject to the ruling.

One year ago, the European Court of Justice, in Google Spain v AEPD and Mario Costeja González, determined that Google and other search engines must respond to users’ requests under EU data protection law concerning search results on queries of their names. This has become known as the Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) ruling. The undersigned have a range of views about the merits of the ruling. Some think it rightfully vindicates individual data protection/privacy interests. Others think it unduly burdens freedom of expression and information retrieval. Many think it depends on the facts.

We all believe that implementation of the ruling should be much more transparent for at least two reasons: (1) the public should be able to find out how digital platforms exercise their tremendous power over readily accessible information; and (2) implementation of the ruling will affect the future of the RTBF in Europe and elsewhere, and will more generally inform global efforts to accommodate privacy rights with other interests in data flows.

Google reports that it has received over 250,000 individual requests concerning one million URLs in the past year. It also reports that it has delisted from name search results just over 40% of the URLs that it has reviewed. In various venues, Google has shared some 40 examples of delisting requests granted and denied (including 22 examples on its website), and it has revealed the top sources of material requested to be delisted (amounting to less than 8% of total candidate URLs). Most of the examples surfaced more than six months ago, with minimal transparency since then. While Google’s decisions will seem reasonable enough to most, in the absence of real information about how representative these are, the arguments about the validity and application of the RTBF are impossible to evaluate with rigour.

Beyond anecdote, we know very little about what kind and quantity of information is being delisted from search results, what sources are being delisted and on what scale, what kinds of requests fail and in what proportion, and what are Google’s guidelines in striking the balance between individual privacy and freedom of expression interests.

The RTBF ruling addresses the delisting of links to personal information that is “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant, or excessive for the purposes of data processing,” and which holds no public interest. Both opponents and supporters of the RTBF are concerned about overreach. Because there is no formal involvement of original sources or public representatives in the decision-making process, there can be only incidental challenges to information that is delisted, and few safeguards for the public interest in information access. Data protection authorities seem content to rely on search engines’ application of the ruling’s balancing test, citing low appeal rates as evidence that the balance is being appropriately struck. Of course, this statistic reveals no such thing. So the sides do battle in a data vacuum, with little understanding of the facts — facts that could assist in developing reasonable solutions.

Peter Fleischer, Google Global Privacy Counsel, reportedly told the 5th European Data Protection Days on May 4 that, “Over time, we are building a rich program of jurisprudence on the [RTBF] decision.” (Bhatti, Bloomberg, May 6). It is a jurisprudence built in the dark. For example, Mr. Fleischer is quoted as saying that the RTBF is “about true and legal content online, not defamation.” This is an interpretation of the scope and meaning of the ruling that deserves much greater elaboration, substantiation, and discussion.

We are not the only ones who want more transparency. Google’s own Advisory Council on the RTBF in February 2015 recommended more transparency, as did the Article 29 Working Party in November 2014. Both recommended that data controllers should be as transparent as possible by providing anonymised and aggregated statistics as well as the process and criteria used in delisting decisions. The benefits of such transparency extend to those who request that links be delisted, those who might make such requests, those who produce content that is or might be delisted, and the wider public who might or do access such material. Beyond this, transparency eases the burden on search engines by helping to shape implementation guidelines and revealing aspects of the governing legal framework that require clarification.

Naturally, there is some tension between transparency and the very privacy protection that the RTBF is meant to advance. The revelations that Google has made so far show that there is a way to steer clear of disclosure dangers. Indeed, the aggregate information that we seek threatens privacy far less than the scrubbed anecdotes that Google has already released, or the notifications that it is giving to webmasters registered with Google webmaster tools. The requested data is divorced from individual circumstances and requests. Here is what we think, at a minimum, should be disclosed:

  1. Categories of RTBF requests/requesters that are excluded or presumptively excluded (e.g., alleged defamation, public figures) and how those categories are defined and assessed.
  2. Categories of RTBF requests/requesters that are accepted or presumptively accepted (e.g., health information, address or telephone number, intimate information, information older than a certain time) and how those categories are defined and assessed.
  3. Proportion of requests and successful delistings (in each case by % of requests and URLs) that concern categories including (taken from Google anecdotes): (a) victims of crime or tragedy; (b) health information; (c) address or telephone number; (d) intimate information or photos; (e) people incidentally mentioned in a news story; (f) information about subjects who are minors; (g) accusations for which the claimant was subsequently exonerated, acquitted, or not charged; and (h) political opinions no longer held.
  4. Breakdown of overall requests (by % of requests and URLs, each according to nation of origin) according to the WP29 Guidelines categories. To the extent that Google uses different categories, such as past crimes or sex life, a breakdown by those categories. Where requests fall into multiple categories, that complexity too can be reflected in the data.
  5. Reasons for denial of delisting (by % of requests and URLs, each according to nation of origin). Where a decision rests on multiple grounds, that complexity too can be reflected in the data.
  6. Reasons for grant of delisting (by % of requests and URLs, each according to nation of origin). As above, multi-factored decisions can be reflected in the data.
  7. Categories of public figures denied delisting (e.g., public official, entertainer), including whether a Wikipedia presence is being used as a general proxy for status as a public figure.
  8. Source (e.g., professional media, social media, official public records) of material for delisted URLs by % and nation of origin (with top 5–10 sources of URLs in each category).
  9. Proportion of overall requests and successful delistings (each by % of requests and URLs, and with respect to both, according to nation of origin) concerning information first made available by the requestor (and, if so, (a) whether the information was posted directly by the requestor or by a third party, and (b) whether it is still within the requestor’s control, such as on his/her own Facebook page).
  10. Proportion of requests (by % of requests and URLs) where the information is targeted to the requester’s own geographic location (e.g., a Spanish newspaper reporting on a Spanish person about a Spanish auction).
  11. Proportion of searches for delisted pages that actually involve the requester’s name (perhaps in the form of % of delisted URLs that garnered certain threshold percentages of traffic from name searches).
  12. Proportion of delistings (by % of requests and URLs, each according to nation of origin) for which the original publisher or the relevant data protection authority participated in the decision.
  13. Specification of (a) types of webmasters that are not notified by default (e.g., malicious porn sites); (b) proportion of delistings (by % of requests and URLs) where the webmaster additionally removes information or applies robots.txt at source; and (c) proportion of delistings (by % of requests and URLs) where the webmaster lodges an objection.

As of now, only about 1% of requesters denied delisting are appealing those decisions to national Data Protection Authorities. Webmasters are notified in more than a quarter of delisting cases (Bloomberg, May 6). They can appeal the decision to Google, and there is evidence that Google may revise its decision. In the remainder of cases, the entire process is silent and opaque, with very little public process or understanding of delisting.

The ruling effectively enlisted Google into partnership with European states in striking a balance between individual privacy and public discourse interests. The public deserves to know how the governing jurisprudence is developing. We hope that Google, and all search engines subject to the ruling, will open up.

Jef Ausloos
KU Leuven, ICRI/CIR — iMinds

Paul Bernal
Lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law
UEA School of Law

Eduardo Bertoni
Global Clinical Professor. New York University School of Law
Director of the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information -CELE-
Palermo University School of Law

Reuben Binns
University of Southampton

Michael D. Birnhack
Professor of Law
Tel-Aviv University, Faculty of Law

Eerke Boiten
Director of Cyber Security Centre
University of Kent

Oren Bracha
Howrey LLP and Arnold, White & Durkee Centennial Professor
University of Texas School of Law

George Brock
Professor of Journalism
City University London

Sally Broughton Micova
LSE Fellow & Acting Director, LSE Media Policy Project
London School of Economics and Political Science

Ian Brown
Professor of Information Security and Privacy
University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute

Robin Callender Smith
Professorial Fellow in Media Law, Centre for Commercial Law Studies
Queen Mary University of London

Caroline Calomme
MJur candidate
University of Oxford

Ignacio Cofone
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Julie E. Cohen
Mark Claster Mamolen Professor of Law & Technology
Georgetown Law

Ray Corrigan
Senior Lecturer in Maths, Computing and Technology
Open University

Jon Crowcroft
Marconi Professor of Communications Systems
University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory

Angela Daly
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Swinburne University of Technology
Research Associate, Tilburg University — TILT

Richard Danbury
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Leonhard Dobusch
Assistant Professor on Organization Theory
Freie Universitaet Berlin

Lilian Edwards
Professor of Internet Law
University of Strathclyde

Niva Elkin-Koren
Professor of Law
University of Haifa

David Erdos
University Lecturer in Law and the Open Society
University of Cambridge, Faculty of Law

Gordon Fletcher
Senior Lecturer in Information Systems
University of Salford

Michelle Frasher
Non-resident Visiting Scholar, Fulbright-Schuman Scholar
University of Illinois, European Union Center

Brett M. Frischmann
Professor of Law
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Martha Garcia-Murillo
Professor of Information Studies
Syracuse University

David Glance
Director, UWA Centre for Software Practice
University of Western Australia

Ellen P. Goodman
Professor of Law
Rutgers University

Andres Guadamuz
Senior Lecturer in IP Law
University of Sussex

Edina Harbinja
Law Lecturer
University of Hertfordshire

Woodrow Hartzog
Associate Professor, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law
Affiliate Scholar, Stanford Law School, Center for Internet & Society

Andrew Hoskins
University of Glasgow

Martin Husovec
Legal Advisor, European Information Society Institute
Affiliate Scholar, Stanford Law School, Center for Internet & Society

Agnieszka Janczuk-Gorywoda
Assistant Professor
Tilburg University — TILEC

Lorena Jaume-Palasí
PhD candidate and Lecturer
Ludwig Maximilians University

Bert-Jaap Koops
Professor of Regulation and Technology
Tilburg University — TILT

Paulan Korenhof
Tilburg University — TILT

Aleksandra Kuczerawy
KU Leuven, ICRI/CIR — iMinds

Stefan Kulk
Utrecht University

Rebekah Larsen
MPhil candidate
University of Cambridge, Judge Business School

David S. Levine
Associate Professor, Elon University School of Law
Visiting Research Collaborator, Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy
Affiliate Scholar, Stanford Law School, Center for Internet & Society

Michael P. Lynch
Professor of Philosophy and Director, Humanities Institute
University of Connecticut

Orla Lynskey
Assistant Professor of Law and Warden, Sidney Webb House
London School of Economics and Political Science

Daniel Lyons
Associate Professor of Law
Boston College Law School

Ian MacInnes
Associate Professor, School of Information Studies
Syracuse University

Robin Mansell
Professor, Department of Media and Communications
London School of Economics and Political Science

Alan McKenna
University of Kent Law School

Shane McNamee
Research Assistant, Research Centre for Consumer Law
University of Bayreuth

Maura Migliore
LL.M. candidate, Centre for Commercial Law Studies
Queen Mary University of London

Christian Moeller
Internet Policy Observatory, Center for Global Communication Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
University of Applied Sciences Kiel

Maria Helen Murphy
Lecturer in Law
Maynooth University

Andrew Murray
Professor of Law
London School of Economics and Political Science

John Naughton
Professor, Wolfson College
University of Cambridge

Abraham Newman
Associate Professor, School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University

Kieron O’Hara
Senior Research Fellow, Electronics and Computer Science
University of Southampton

Marion Oswald
Senior Fellow, Head of the Centre for Information Rights
University of Winchester

Pablo A. Palazzi
Professor of Law
San Andres University

Frank Pasquale
Professor of Law
University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Richard J. Peltz-Steele
University of Massachusetts Law School

Julia Powles
University of Cambridge — Faculty of Law

Artemi Rallo
Constitutional Law Professor and Former Director, Spanish Data Protection Agency
Jaume I University

Giovanni Sartor
Professor of Legal Informatics and Legal Theory
European University Institute

Evan Selinger
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Rochester Institute of Technology

Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon
Associate Professor in IT law
University of Southampton

Konstantinos Stylianou
Fellow, Centre for Technology and Society
FGV Direito Rio

Dan Jerker B. Svantesson
Bond University Faculty of Law

Damian Tambini
Research Director and Director of the Media Policy Project
London School of Economics and Political Science

Judith Townend
Director, Centre for Law and Information Policy
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Alexander Tsesis
Professor of Law
Loyola University School of Law

Siva Vaidhyanathan
Robertson Professor, Department of Media Studies
University of Virginia

Peggy Valcke
Professor of Law, Head of Research
KU Leuven — iMinds

Alfonso Valero
Principal Lecturer, College of Business Law & Social Sciences
Nottingham Law School

Brendan Van Alsenoy
KU Leuven, ICRI/CIR — iMinds

Joris van Hoboken
Research Fellow
New York University School of Law

Asma Vranaki
Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Commercial Law Studies
Queen Mary University of London

Kevin Werbach
Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics
University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School

Abby Whitmarsh
Web Science Researcher
University of Southampton

Tijmen Wisman
PhD candidate and Lecturer
VU University Amsterdam

Lorna Woods
Professor of Internet Law
University of Essex

Nicolo Zingales
Assistant Professor
Tilburg University — TILEC

Call for Papers: LVI 2015 – Law via the Internet Conference 9-11 November 2015

This year’s Law via the Internet 2015 conference, which will take place in Sydney, has opened its call for papers. The conference will take place on 10-11 November 2015 at NSW Australia (the University of New South Wales) and will be preceded by the annual meeting of the Free Access to Law Movement on 9  November at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

Submission of papers is invited on a variety of topics, but organisers state that papers on other aspects of access to legal information via the Internet are also welcome. Papers on technology law not related directly to access to legal information cannot be submitted.

via LVI 2015: Law via the Internet Conference 9-11 November 2015

Launch of European Data Protection Law Review

The new quarterly and fully peer-reviewed journal European Data Protection Law Review (EDPL), edited by Judith Rauhofer and published by Lexxion, has launched with its first issue and is seeking papers (the next submission deadline is 20 May; author guidelines here). The journal aims to publish a mix of articles, case notes, country reports and book reviews, providing a new and much needed home for peer-reviewed European data protection scholarship in the English language.

Here’s the info from its website:

European Data Protection Law Review – EDPL

The European Data Protection Law Review (EDPL) provides a practical and intellectual forum to discuss, comment, and review all issues raised by the development and implementation of data protection law and policy in the EU Member States. The journal reports on key legislative developments and addresses relevant legal, regulatory, and administrative progresses in EU Member States and institutions. Important judgments that shape the interpretation and application of the EU law in this field are identified and analysed, particularly judgments by the European Courts, international courts and tribunals such as the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body, and higher national courts.
Furthermore, contributors address relevant legal, regulatory and administrative developments in EU Member States that shape the practical implementation of European law in this field.

The EDPL reports on the law and policy governing:

Privacy and data protection,

Freedom of information, open data and re-use of information,

Civil liberties issues,

Data processing,

Data transfers,

Technology issues.

All contributions to EDPL shall undergo the process of a double blind peer-review, in order to guarantee the publication’s solid scientific output.

EDPL’s Target Audience

The quarterly addresses everyone who is concerned with data protection law issues such as legal practitioners in national and international law firms, government officials working in EU public administration, judges and legal experts in domestic, European and international courts, consultancies, and Data protection professionals in the EU and beyond.


  • Judith Rauhofer, University of Edinburgh

Associate Editors

  • Maja Brkan, 
University of Maastricht
  • Mark Cole
, University of Luxembourg, Institute of European Media Law (EMR)

Editorial Board

  • Franziska Boehm, University of Münster
  • Alexander Dix, Berlin Representative for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
  • Federico Ferretti, Brunel University
  • Kirsty E. Hughes, University of Cambridge
  • Els Kindt, KU Leuven, Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and ICT (ICRI)
  • Eleni Kosta, Tilburg University
  • Orla Lynskey
, London School of Economics
  • Peter Schaar, 
European Academy of Freedom of Information and Data Protection (EAID)
  • Indra Spiecker genannt Döhmann
, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
  • Alessandro Spina
, European Medicines Agency
  • Bart van der Sloot, 
University of Amsterdam
  • Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, 
University of Amsterdam, Institute for Information Law

Upcoming information law events at the IALS

Information and communications law are well-represented on the events calendar for May and June at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, with two lectures by visiting fellow Dr Judith Bannister, University of Adelaide, on open government, accountability and freedom of information, a lecture by visiting fellow Professor Katherine Biber, University of Technology Sydney, on open justice and criminal evidence and a related seminar on ‘illicit images’, the European Criminal Law Association (UK)’s seminar on Cybercrime, Policing and Privacy and a special Course on Electronic Evidence (including Electronic Signatures).

Full details at the links below: 

Wednesday 13 May, 18:00 – 20:00: Open Justice and Open Secrets: The Cultural Afterlife of Criminal Evidence. Professor Katherine Biber, University of Technology Sydney, Australia; IALS Visiting Fellow.

Thursday 14 May, 12:30 – 13:30: Accountability or involvement? Open government and the participatory ideal. Dr Judith Bannister, University of Adelaide, Australia; IALS Visiting Fellow.

Monday 18 May 2015, 16:00 – 18:30. Cybercrime, Policing and Privacy. European Criminal Law Association (UK)’s seminar.

Monday 8th June 2015 – Friday 12 June 2015. Course on Electronic Evidence (including Electronic Signatures)

Thursday 11 June 2015, 16:00 – 18:00. Illicit Images (title TBC). (Organised in collaboration with Birkeck, University of London)

Wednesday 17 June, 18:00 – 20:00
Thinking spaces; the exclusion of deliberative matter from FOI disclosure. Dr Judith Bannister, University of Adelaide, Australia; IALS Visiting Fellow.

IALS website re-development: user feedback needed

The IALS is redeveloping its website and is seeking users’ help …

Since the advent of the web, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, part of the School of Advanced Study, University of London, has been actively involved in innovative legal information delivery – developing and promoting public access to materials capable of supporting legal research on the Internet.

IALS is committed to extending the reach of digital provision of legal information by delivering specialist legal research tools and niche web services – maximising access to key or hard to find information to facilitate legal research, public understanding, and promote justice and the rule of law. The IALS website includes a portfolio of award-winning national online services for law and research tools that have resulted from IALS projects and are made freely available to all.

The Institute is now working on a redevelopment of the IALS website and web databases.

We would like to understand what you think about the current design, content, and functionality of our website and databases. This will help us to ensure that we deliver the best possible experience for visitors in the future.

The survey includes 11 questions and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Please do share your feedback and help us improve our website and databases:

Job vacancy: Early Career Researcher in Law & Information Policy

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, part of the School of Advanced Study, University of London, is seeking a full-time, fixed term (3 years) Early Career Researcher in Law & Information Policy. Full details at this link. You can download the further particulars here [PDF].