Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Establishment of the Information Network Law Association

[June], 2002

Incorporators’ Committee on the Establishment of
Information Network Law Association

Usage of an information network system, including the Internet, is expanding rapidly in every aspect of our society. It has become the “information network society.” Legal issues in such a society include: electronic transactions, electronic signature, information privacy, cybercrime, intellectual property of digital contents, management of e-mails, consumer protection on the Internet, etc. They have, inter alia, following characteristics:

  • Global influence.
    Transactions in the society often occur beyond territorial borders in the real world.
  • Anonymity.
    Parties to the transactions in the society are often anonymous.
  • Automated transactions.
    Transactions are often entered into by computer programs rather than directly by hands of human beings.
  • Easy duplication.
    Duplication of digital contents on the Internet is made very easily and rapidly.
  • Easy censorship.
    Individuals are subject to the censorship by the government easily.
  • Cybercrime.
    Since individuals have obtained larger power to transmit information, they may cause huge troubles through, for example, computer viruses.

In the information network society containing these characteristics, the relationship between individuals and the government might change. Even the concept or nature of the government (or the nation) itself might change.

In order to analyze and address various issues that have arisen or may arise in the information network society, we have decided to establish a new association, calling for the participation of individuals with a broad range of interests, including those from academic institutions and universities, the government (both legislative and executive branches), the press, corporations and enterprises, and consumer groups.

Our research will not be limited to interpreting conventional laws. Instead, we will broaden our scope to identify and develop social systems and legislative policies that promote the healthy growth of the information network society. Additionally, as a foundational component of our work, we will conduct research on a legal information system with the aim of contributing to a society where legal information is open, accessible, and available to all individuals and entities.

In order to improve the legal system, it is necessary to disclose legal information and share legislative knowledge. In such an environment, open discussions and constructive opinions must be encouraged. Through this Association, we aim to provide support to those who wish to contribute to the goals and objectives of the Association.

Professor Yasutaka Machimura
Nanzan University

Chair Person
Incorporators Committee on the Establishment of
the Information Network Law Association