law in society in cyberspace

The T.J. Hooper case entails two
tugboats that is, the Hooper and Monstrose, both hauling one barge cargo ship indicated
in numbers such as 30 and 17 respectively, both filled with coal. In 1928, both
vessels were lost near the Jersey Coast and a court case emerged to determine
whose fault for the loss of the cargo and the ships themselves. An
investigation carried out determined the lack of reliability and
unseaworthiness for the four ships. They intensively investigated the receiving
devices because there had been a major storm that made most ships to sink
though most captains were unaware of the situation at the time. After the
investigation, the results showed that no regulations of radio receivers
applied in the ships, hence the captains were unaware of the upcoming severe weather
conditions. Though if they had known, they would still have opted to press on
to the storm than to turn back (T. J. Hooper, 1931). The court ruled that both
the owners of the tugs and the barges equally responsible for the loss of the
cargo and the ships as the facts pointed out that all of them were poorly constructed,
unseaworthiness or not structurally legible to make the trip to deliver the

Some crucial factors can be retrieved
after an analysis of the case such as those relating to the information
Technology field. For example, the comparison between the I T area and the
cargo ship court case, when comparing the unseaworthiness and seaworthiness of
the shops through installation of programs on the PC that minimum requirements
must be met by the installed devices. If one does not meet the requirements yet,
choose to download the program, either it will not work effectively or one you
meet the minimum, it leads to overtaxing of the system or more damage which is
similar to the unseaworthiness of the ship and the goods (Abrams,2017). Also, The
regulation of radio receivers in the case can be compared to encryption of hard
drives in computers regulations. This function ensures good protection of data
in case such devices are lost or handled with unauthorized persons. An
organization must establish strict regulations for data protection to prevent
loss of confidential information to unauthorized persons. I believe that such
comparisons relate to topics discussed in future in class, such as e-commerce,
torts and cybercrimes, and legal concerns and privacy related to cyber law.
Ignorance on computer hard drives regulations leads to serious breaches of
security that makes most companies face law cases in the digital era. For
example, The New York Times published an article about Target paying a large
amount in a settlement where Target encountered a security breach and
information for millions of people was compromised (Abrams, 2017).

As per the comparisons made by Frank H.
Easterbrook between a so-called “Law of the Horse” and his opinions on whether
or not Cyberlaw should be studied as a section of law. Sir Easterbrook believed
that Cyberlaw should not be considered a separate body of law since it would
have to be studied in very specific parts, of which Cyberlaw too ever-changing,
dynamic and inconsistent to unify into one constant branch of study(
Easterbrook, 1996). Later, Lawrence Lessig made an expansion and contradiction
about Easterbrook claims as he did not agree fully to his beliefs and courses
implemented to teach cyberlaw could easily be generalized as a representative
of the entire law. Also, he indicated significant connections between law and
cyberspace indicating that its crucial to teach the course and create awareness
to the public. Both Easterbrook and Lessig made claims that can be related to,
in the IT field as it stands today ( Lessig, 1999). For example, Easterbrook makes
a comparison between copying using a plain-paper to copying items within
Cyberspace and not properly acknowledging the rightful sources. This action
does not only affect issues like plagiarism in schools and scholarly articles,
but can also be compared to intellectual property, patents, copyrights and
trademarks, and even privacy laws in where someone’s information can be taken
and displayed or utilized elsewhere. This action raises the issue of
cybercrimes and what is being done with all of the information and how someone
else might be using it to either make a profit or again for some other sort of
illegal gain.

According to Lessig there four
modalities of regulation such as social norms, Law, Architecture and markets that
can still be used currently. The single most vital element of cyberlaw is law
whose primary concern is privacy and security. Some laws formulated to
eliminate actions such as illegal content downloads, cyber fraud, cyber
bullying, phishing, Intellectual property such as copyrights and contracts (
Louis-jacques, 2017). Also, e-commerce which meaning that business conduct
their operations electronically can easily be hacked through cybercrime and
regulations and monitoring terrorism and cyberwar. Social norms provide a
platform whereby peoples using online to exchange information can report one
other to their administrators or law official in cases where their rules on to
websites or their personal policies broken( Spinnello, 2010). In addition,
Markets works for not only procuring domain names but also in aspects such as e-commerce,
Personal home computing networks, online shopping and many more. Moreover,
Architecture sets a stage where people across different geographic regions
world wide come together through communication and interaction in a digital
era. Similarly, Architecture entails same ideas on cyber bullying that can
cause potentially more damage that in person bullying, can affect
communication, especially to teens in their adolescence period.

In conclusion, After reads these cases
such as the Hooper’s case and articles such as Easterbrook and Lessig, I can
see that they presented a well explained introduction to the topics that I will
be learning in the computer Law and ethics class. I have learnt more on cyberlaw
which relates to the information and technology field. Also, Cyberspace relates
to Law, and it can be broken down into four modalities that is law, market,
architecture and social norms. I would like to join and work with a company specializing
in Information Technology where I can learn more about Cyberspace and build on
my career. This course provides a better understanding and knowledge that I will
apply to achieve a certificate on ethics and Cyberspace. I will also, achieve
my goal to effectively manage people within the IT field.


Johnson, D. R., & Post, D. (1995). Law and
Borders–The Rise of Law in Cyberspace. Stan. L. Rev.48,

R. (2010). Cyberethics: Morality and law in cyberspace. Jones &
Bartlett Learning.

Katyal, N. K. (2001). Criminal law in cyberspace. University
of Pennsylvania Law Review
149(4), 1003-1114.

R. (2017, May 23). Target to Pay $18.5 Million to 47 States in Security Breach
Settlement. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from The New York Times:

Easterbrook, F. (1996). Cyberlaw and the
Law of the Horse. Retrieved from

Lapidot-Lefler, N., & Dolev-Cohen,
M. (2015). Comparing cyberbullying and school bullying among school students:
prevalence, gender, and grade level differences. Social Psychology of Education,
18(1), 1-16.

Lessig, L. (1999). The Law of the Horse:
What Cyberlaw might Teach. Retrieved from

Louis-Jacques, L. (2019, March 4).
International Encyclopaedia of Laws Guide. Retrieved March 17, 2019, from The
University of Chicago Library:

The TJ Hooper. (N.D.). The TJ Hooper.
Retrieved from

The TJ Hooper. (1931, October 15). The
TJ Hooper. Retrieved from    

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