UNSW's Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre
invites you to a free seminar
(one of the 2005 Cyberspace Law and Policy Series)


Reform of Internet governance: Guardian or threat to online freedoms?


Jeremy Malcolm


Wednesday 31 August 2005


1:00 to 2:00 pm, including time for questions .


Room 1201, 12th floor, Library Tower Stage 2
UNSW Kensington campus, Sydney



Since the inception of the Internet, its technical standards have been developed through a collaborative process overseen by the non-profit Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Its recommendations are considered binding once they are submitted for comment from the Internet community and achieve a measure of consensus.

There is however no similar mechanism for the establishment of consensus on legal norms for the Internet community, such as regulation of cybercrime, e-commerce and spam. Rather, each jurisdiction attempts to develop and enforce its own laws and regulations within its national territory. This has resulted in an inconsistent patchwork of regulation.

There are currently moves afoot for the United Nations to take a greater role in Internet governance. But is this really the answer, or are existing bodies and models of international law inappropriate for governing the Internet? Perhaps we should instead adopt a similar approach to that of the IETF in establishing legal norms for the Internet community.

But how would such a body or process for the development of consensus-based model legal norms for the Internet actually work? Would it be democratic? Could it be hijacked by interest groups? How would it fit into existing national and International legal regimes? This paper will consider these questions and more.

  About the speaker:

Jeremy Malcolm graduated from Murdoch University in Law and Commerce in 1994 and is writing a Masters thesis on the topic of this talk. He has a successful niche legal practice in Internet-related law, and since 1998 has also been the manager of IT consultancy Terminus Network Services.

He is involved at board level in organisations such as the Internet Society of Australia, the Western Australian Internet Association, the Australian Public Access Network Association (secretary), the WA Society for Computers and the Law (president) and the Society of Linux Professionals of WA. He also currently chairs the Spam Taskforce of the Internet Industry Association.


Entry is free. If you are coming from off Campus please RSVP to feedback [at]

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