Thursday, January 3, 2013

Laws & Information Accountability

Laws can provide guidance, standardization, and stability to information accountability. For instance patent law offers accountability of new innovation. In the US, a patent holder possesses exclusive rights to the innovation. The patent holder controls the innovation for 20 years and the law keeps infringers at bay until that time. The law assists the innovator in protecting the new advancement. Additionally, laws assist corporations in their pursuit of protecting data. Agencies are in place to track and capture people who try to exploit weaknesses in corporations’ firewalls and security systems.
Laws offer information accountability and protection, but on the other hand, laws can hurt information accountability. If it weren’t for two years of difficult negotiating, the global economy between the US and European nations would cease to exist (Landy & Mastrobattista, 2008). In 1998 when the EU adopted the Directive on Data Protection, the US did not meet the strict guidelines of protecting the EU citizens’ personal data. Thanks to the Safe Harbor Agreement and EU bureaucrats’ realization that the split would devastate both economies, both entities settled on an agreement that would allow the continuation of international trade.

Another example of an incident that hinders protection of information accountability, in my opinion and others may disagree, is the Ivanov incident. In this situation, the FBI lured Russian, Alexey Vladimwirovich Ivanov to the US in order to prosecute him. However to retrieve evidence that he committed extortion, an FBI agent needed to access Ivanov’s computers in Russia. The FBI agent did his job in order to protect US corporations from future hacks and extortion. The counter hack upset the Russian government (who were not cooperating well with the US) and charges were brought against the agent. Although the agent probably could have procured the evident a more politically correct way, the agent was doing the right thing by protecting corporations, but the agent still had criminal charges brought against him.
In essences, laws can both benefit and hinder progress. The approach and action taken towards law tells the true story and provides the outcomes. Oftentimes we must tap into our creative thinking when we encounter a law that roadblocks our objectives.



Goldsmith, J. and Wu, T. (2008). Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless World, Oxford University Press: New York
Landy, G., and Mastrobattista, A. (2008). The IT / Digital Legal Companion: A Comprehensive Business Guide to Software, IT, Internet, Media and IP Law. Syngress: Burlington.

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