Computer law

Computer law. Science and autonomous branch of Law that covers the study of norms, jurisprudence and doctrines related to the control and regulation of informatics in aspects such as the regulation of the computer medium in its expansion and development, and the suitable application of computer instruments. Computer law is not dedicated to the study of the use of computer devices as an aid to law, but constitutes a set of rules, applications, processes, legal relationships that arise as a result of the application and development of computer science. In other words, computing in general from this point of view is an object regulated by law.

Computer law, as a new legal creation, is responsible for finding solutions to the challenges posed by the evolution of electronic computer applications . This branch of Law is constantly monitoring and studying the advances, advances and technological transformations in order to gradually propose the appropriate measures that allow for harmonious social coexistence.


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  • 1 Origin of the term
  • 2 Purpose and method
  • 3 Computerization of Law
  • 4 Features
  • 5 Autonomy
  • 6 Relationship with other branches of Law
    • 1 With Constitutional Law
    • 2 With Criminal Law
    • 3 With Human Rights
    • 4 With intellectual property
  • 7 Legal informatics
  • 8 Protection of information
  • 9 Cryptography
    • 1 Features
  • 10 Fields of study
  • 11 Conclusions
  • 12 References
  • 13 Bibliographies
  • 14 Sources

Origin of the term

The term “Computer Law” ( Rechtinformatik ) was coined by Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Steinmüller [1] , an academic at the University of Regensburg in Germany , in the 1970s . However, it is not a unambiguous term, as a number of terms have also been sought for Computer Law such as Telematic Law, New Technologies Law, Information Society Law, Cybernetics, Technological Law, Cyberspace Law, Law Internet, etc.

Object and method

Computer law is a new legal discipline whose immediate object of study computing and object mediate the information . His scientific method is characterized by developing computer legal institutions and systematically interrelate them with reality; Thus, the problems derived from software , computerized information, hardware , firmware , shareware and other assets must be addressed from their different scopes in the legal system, seeking coherence and comprehensive treatment.

The object of study of Computer Law is not affected by the existence of random situations, but on the contrary, its autonomy is reinforced over time.

Computerization of Law

The computer , as one of the most significant phenomena of recent times, felt its influence irrepressible in virtually all areas of human knowledge, within which the law can not be the exception, resulting in the law interdiscipline computer, as branch of legal sciences that considers computing as an instrument and object of study.

Computer law plays an important role in preventing unwanted situations for users of New Information Technologies and when certain circumstances arise that affect them, it facilitates the incorporation of new legal institutions that allow people and institutions to create trust that carry out such operations, thus allowing the solution of those problems generated by the use of electronic means in society.

Computer law acquires great importance and transcendence for the development of an increasing number of computer, electronic, optical and similar elements, which facilitate the life of man, but in turn, generate serious difficulties in his interaction with other beings. human, arising in this way a series of circumstances that allow the development, strengthening and improvement of computer law and its legal institutions.


  • It is a modern law, compared to other traditional branches of law, which has its origins in the problems generated by the implementation of the computer in society. It will be remembered that the impulse and subsequent development of computersdates back to the 50s of the 20th century .
  • It is a law intimately influenced by technologies in general, since they have allowed a sustained development of the computer and its environment, for example, at present there are a series of legal problems generated by the use of the Internetin various activities of people.
  • It is a Law that is linked to the globalizationprocess , for which the jurist is obliged to solve the problem of the competent judge, the same who must know and give a solution to a specific case, and must also analyze everything related with the law applicable to each situation in particular.
  • It is a right that must necessarily be legislated in special laws, because its object of study, as well as its forms of regulation, are very dynamic.
  • It is an autonomous law, with its own institutions that is in charge of providing legal solutions to the problems posed by scientific advancement in the area of ​​its competence. It is important to indicate that as time passes, new legal difficulties arise that are not foreseen by the jurist, the legislator or the judge, but that computer law allows solving, a fact that reinforces and sustains the mentioned characteristic.


According to meetings on Informatics held in Law Schools in Spain from 1987 , problems always arose when classifying Computer Law as an autonomous legal branch of Law or simply if Computer Law should be diluted between the different branches of Law, assuming each one of these the part that corresponds to it.

Now, to analyze this situation, it is necessary to mention the bases that support an autonomous legal branch, and in this regard are:

  • A specified legislation (normative field).
  • Specific study of the subject (teaching field).
  • Research, doctrines dealing with the subject (scientific field).
  • Own institutions that are not in other areas of Law (institutional field).

In Computer Law, if there is specific legislation that protects the computer field. Perhaps not with as much trajectory and evolution as the legislation that comprises other branches of law, but it does exist in computer law, legislation based on laws, international treaties and conventions, in addition to the different projects that are carried out in the legislative entities. of nations, for the purpose of lawful control and application of computer tools.

With regard to the own institutions that are not in other areas of Law (institutional field), there is the computer contract, the electronic document, electronic commerce , among others, which lead to the need for a particularized study of the subject ( teaching field), resulting in research, doctrines dealing with the subject (scientific field). In effect, large amounts of research, articles, books, and even jurisprudence that is framed in the interrelation between Law and computer science, can now be obtained, as has been verified in the Ibero-American Congresses of Law and Informatics.

Relationship with other branches of Law

With Constitutional Law

Computer Law has a close relationship with Constitutional Law , since the form and management of the structure and fundamental organs of the State is constitutional matter. Hence, it should be noted that said management and way of controlling the structure and organization of the State organs, is carried out by means of Informatics, placing Computer Law on the table, because with due use it give these computer tools, a suitable, effective and efficient organization and control of these entities will be carried out. From which a series of related relations with other matters can be derived, such as the case of Tax Law and Procedural Law.

With Criminal Law

At this point, a close relationship between Computer Law and Criminal Law is noted , because Criminal Law regulates sanctions for certain acts that constitute a violation of rules of Law and in this case Computer Law, in the field of cyber or computer crime, then you could start talking about Computer Criminal Law.

With Human Rights

The Human Rights indispensable to defend the fundamental rights of man, such as the life, equality, moral respect, privacy and intimacy that lead man to be worthy and therefore have dignity, which It allows people to be cataloged as upright, living together in an environment of respect, freedom and making truly civilized societies possible.

What relationship can computer law have with human rights? Well, that relationship is so great that it would be the subject of countless books and monographs; however, very simply and briefly, it is possible to mention the possibility that there exists through Computer Law that legal regulation that supports the proper functioning of the courts, just to give a simple example; It is to be imagined, the effectiveness and efficiency with which the laws would be handled, which would contribute to a high degree to procedural speed, an essential point to defend the human rights of people who are in national prisons, declared these at the international level, as centers that violate human rights. So, as there is speed, there will be the possibility of avoiding overcrowding in prisons, a factor that has influenced the constant violation of these Rights; for producing that overpopulation, shortage offood for prisoners, as well as the lack of necessary sanitary and hygiene means.

Also, other relationships dealt with in Human Rights can be mentioned, such as privacy and intimacy, which could be circumvented for unlawful use of computer media.

With intellectual property

In the nations, a better control of this matter is urgently needed, to penalize plagiarism , piracy and, in itself, any illicit act against copyright or industrial rights, because these illicit acts are being carried out against and through computer instruments.

Legal informatics

Computer Law constitutes the set of norms, applications, processes, legal relationships that arise as a consequence of the application and development of computer science. In other words, computing in general from this point of view is an object regulated by law.

Now, legal informatics is a science that is part of the computer field, thus demonstrating that informatics has penetrated countless systems, institutions, and so on; and proof of this is that it has entered the legal field to serve as a help and as a source. Therefore, legal informatics can be considered as a source of Law.

Legal informatics studies the automated treatment of sources of legal knowledge through the systems of legislative, jurisprudential and doctrinal documentation (documentary legal informatics); the sources of legal production, through the computerized elaboration of the logical-formal factors that concur in the legislative process and in the judicial decision (decisional legal informatics); and the organizational processes of the infrastructure or instrumental means with which the Law is managed (legal management informatics).

Protection of information

Computer Law as a new branch of Law is in charge of providing legal solutions to the great problems generated by the use of technologies in society , so specialists in this new branch of Law are constantly faced with the dilemma of giving answers. consistent and harmonious so that the legal operator is in a position to propose the most appropriate solutions to each specific case.

In order to grant adequate protection to the information that circulates through interconnected networks, be these, open networks such as the Internet or closed networks such as the Intranet or internal networks that are installed in institutions, Computer Law collects technical institutions and incorporates them to the Law granting them an adequate legal value, for example, encryption techniques can be cited, that is, those security elements that allow the information to be hidden, preventing people outside the binding and rights-generating relationships between the parties, to access the same to damage, alter or market it.


Main article: Cryptography
Computer Law has incorporated Cryptography as a legal institution. Cryptography is the science that is in charge of studying the encryption of information, in such a way that, by using such techniques, it is possible to grant a high degree of confidentiality to communications and expressions of will made through electronic means. Modern cryptography allows information to be hidden by means of the application of great mathematical functions, which are applied by means of certain software designed for this purpose.

The historical origins of cryptography go back to the needs of the human being to efficiently protect their communications, military secrets and state information in general. Currently, the computer reality in which we live has allowed all institutions and people to transmit and archive large amounts of data and information, which must be carefully guarded. In modern times the technique of encrypting both data and information has become an urgent necessity.


  1. They grant confidentiality to both the data and the information that circulates through open networks or closed networks.
  2. They allow the integrity of both data and information.
  3. They facilitate the verification of the authenticity of data and information.
  4. They generate trust, given that they allow security to be given to communications.
  5. They prevent data and information from being known by third parties unrelated to the relationship between the parties, by keeping them safe until such time as they lose importance for users.

Fields of study

  • Access to information
  • Access to ICTs
  • Administration of Justice and New Technologies.
  • Digital Banking and Money
  • Internet censorship. Freedom of Expression online
  • Electronic Commerce
  • IT Contracts
  • Public purchases through the use of NICTs
  • Email
  • Consumer Defense
  • Cybercrime
  • Law in the Digital Age
  • TelecommunicationsLaw
  • Laborand Computer Law . Telecommuting .
  • Electronic Document, data messages, EDIand Electronic Invoice
  • Online law publishers.
  • E-government
  • e-Learningof Law and New Technologies
  • Electronic signature
  • Habeas data
  • Tax and Internet
  • Legal informatics
  • Manifestation of the Will by Electronic Means
  • Precautionary Measures on Computer Equipment
  • Domain names and IP addresses
  • Bibliographic and Event Notes
  • Notification by Electronic Means
  • Privacy
  • Data Protection
  • Legal Professionals in the Digital Age
  • Intellectual Propertyand Industrial Property and the Internet
  • Programs: Legal Software. Databases and Law Firm Management
  • Personal data protection
  • Advertising and Internet
  • Relationship between Law and Computing
  • Computer security
  • Civil Society and the Internet
  • Society of Information
  • Free software
  • Telephony and Voice over IP
  • Wireless Application Prototocol(WAP)


Computer Law is becoming more important and transcendent in modern times, given that it allows obtaining adequate legal solutions to the problems generated by the use of computer science in society. It is incorporating into the national legal systems a series of technical institutions that ensure online operations. In addition, cryptography has become a fundamental tool to ensure operations and expressions of will carried out by electronic means, as well as for the forecast of possible attacks carried out through the use of cryptanalytic techniques by third parties outside the relationship between the parties. .


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