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Legal issues in computing Introduction

Until nowadays legal issues were unknown or ignored by most of the computer users. Due to the big expansion in the use of computers and the needs of IT professionals to protect their rights, we have to know the existent rights and obligations regarding this matter. “Before, only big companies like IBM had contracts that protected everything they do. Considering legal aspects exists to avoid demands or trials because of the use or their products” (Tenzer S.M. 1995). One of the actual problems is that there is not too much experience about this, so it becomes necessary to create new laws and adapt the ones that already exist. There is a huge difference between hardware and software; the physical computer cannot be copied as the software. Also the original and the copy are identical, making no difference between them and without any loss of quality. At present we also have to talk about cloud computing. This technology is growing very fast and we have to analyse all the legal aspects of it very carefully.

logos. or with recklessness as to impairing. designs. “Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences” covers serious crime when a computer system is unauthorised accessed intentionally. . such as hacking without the intention to commit serious crime. Data Protection Act 1998 The “Data Protection Act 1998” is a United Kingdom Act of Parliament. It allows people to own and protect the work they create. “Unauthorised acts with intent to impair. deals with unauthorised modification computer systems operation and / or information and is a very serious offence.”. artistic and literary work. Freedom of Information Act 2000 The “Freedom of Information Act 2000” is an Act that concedes a public “right of access” to information held by public authorities. and it is divided in two categories: Industrial property and Copyright. It enables the individual to ask for any public organisation covered by the Act what information it holds on a subject. It has 3 sections or categories of offence: “Unauthorised access to computer material” addresses minor offences and fraud. such as names.Legal Issues in Computing Computer Misuse Act 1990 The “Computer Misuse Act 1990” was developed to help prevent unauthorised access to computer systems. etc. etc. inventions. Offences under this category shall be dealt with at the Crown Court. This category has a subcategory that covers helping directly or indirectly in offences under categories 1 or 3. It places a number of obligations and responsibilities on those who process personal data about individuals. Intellectual Property Rights Intellectual property refers to the creations of the mind. Offences under this section shall be dealt with in Magistrate’s Court. images. operation of computer.

Location of data is an important aspect in cloud computing because a poor choice in physical location can create risk for enterprises trusting their applications to a cloud computing provider. b. here there is a explanation of the main ones: 1. 3. And it is also concerned about certain criteria for transfer for data and application via clouds. Investigative/Litigation issues concern with Third party access matters and criminal/national security investigations. Public cloud 2. Physical security is responsible for the security of data centres from disaster and intrusion attacks. Hybrid cloud One of the reasons why legal issues in cloud computing are so important is because help in maintaining the law and order against the Cyber crime and help an individual to understand the legal aspects of cloud computing so that it is easy for people to use the cloud computing in a legalised and effective manner. Security in cloud computing is a very important aspect as the security of data depends on these factors: a. 4. c. 2. There are basically 4 types of clouds depending on the users: 1. All the programming based security aspects like encryption and decryption. There are different types of legal issues in cloud computing. The operational issue covers the areas of vendor lock-in issues which means the users will be bound to certain applications operating systems and operating systems.Cloud computing The term “Cloud computing” is basically used for transferring hosted services over a network using web applications irrespective of directly connecting to a server. Private cloud 3. . Operational security checks for which user is accessing which application or data. Community cloud 4.

having access to all sorts of material. as intellectual property and such. Every day more computers are manufactured and sold and new computer users are having access to the Internet. so it is important to realise that good education plays a big part here. From a technical point of view. there is not much that can be done to solve or avoid legal issues implicating computing. .Conclusion Legal issues in the field of informatics are proliferating more with the enormous Internet effect upon us.

Birmingham B15 2TT. last access November 2011 Professional definition of cloud computing. 2011. Legal and Ethical Issues in Three of the most significant ones – the Computer Misuse Act. 1995. School of Computer Science University of http://www. http://knol. Legal Oracle 2011.pdf.jsp?p_ext=Y&p_dlg_id=10706896&src =7372294&Act=37&sckw=WWMK11067056MPP002. http://www.pdf. Oracle Sun Cloud Computing. Kerber M. England. Utah 84057-2399 EE. last access November 2011 The author gives a technical perspective about legal and ethical issues. last access November 2011 Good introduction Examples of legal contracts of use of software Some legal issues Author rights Patents Some laws Databases Woodcock L.pdf. The conclusion is very interesting. Aspectos Technology Way. last access November 2011 The document explains some of the Legal Issues we can find in Computing. Legal Issues for IT Professionals: A Guide for Computing Professionals. last access November 2011 It provides an introductory overview of the main legal issues and pieces of legislation that are relevant to IT professionals in the UK. School of Multimedia and Information Technology of Southern Cross University in Australia.GCM. Orem. http://www. Creaney N. derechos de autor y piratería de software. the Data Protection Act and Intellectual Property Rights .References: Tenzer S.are expanded more fully in their own Computer Misuse Act 1990 * Data Protection Act 1998 * Freedom of Information Act 2000 * Intellectual Property Rights * Digital Economy Act 2010 Health and Safety at Work Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 Defamation Act 1996 Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 A Cross National Perspective .edu.. Oracle.ccee.

2011. Cloud Computing Legal Issues.legislation. 2011. Data Protection Act 1998. . Computer Misuse Act 1990. http://www. Antwerpe last access November 2011 Concept Eecke P.Computer Misuse Act last access 2011 The author explains what Cloud Computing is and the legal issues related with it. http://www. last access November 2011 Computer misuse offences Jurisdiction Data Protection Act 1998. 2011.