Editorial, No. 3, 2012

Welcome to the third issue of Volume 3 of the European Journal of Law and Technology. We have nine refereed articles comprising this special issue which explores the emergence and evolution of digital rights that challenge and transform more traditional legal and political understandings of human rights. The majority of papers of this edition were developed for the Human Rights in the Digital Era Conference, hosted by the University of Leeds in September 2011. This Conference was an initiative of the School of Law and was organized in collaboration with the Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds.

The peer reviewed papers in this edition reflect the challenging and engaging debate across diverse disciplines highlighting the dangers that human rights face in the digital environment and suggest ways to overcome them. In his paper on ANPR systems, Savirimuthu compares and analyses some of the politics and practices underscoring this technology in Canadas western province of British Columbia and in the UK, with the intension of developing the means of resisting intrusive surveillance practices. Monteleones paper addresses the impact of the digital evolution on fundamental rights, such as privacy or data protection (recently codified in the Lisbon Treaty) and digital identity.

Boehm and de Herts article analyses the current provisions within both the EU and Council of Europe regulatory frameworks concerning notification requirements after data have been collected and after surveillance has been carried out.

One major issue in Web 2.0 is that of the status of user-generated content particularly commodification of it by the Internet intermediaries and platforms. In this context Daly examines the implications of the merger between AOL and the Huffington Post, especially the impact it may have on the bloggers right to free expression.

The traditional regulatory model has proved to be problematic for the regulation of online gambling, Nair explores these key regulatory challenges from a UK and wider EU perspective, with particular focus on the risks they pose to children and young people. Gervassis argues that the applied legal frameworks, particularly in relation to our online existences, have gradually professed the withering of the human rights. Karanasiou examines the protection for free speech online and highlights the need to reiterate the conventional approaches in the light of digitisation. She argues free speech adjudication should take into account the specific architectural traits of the internet. Lettieri and Faro discuss how computational social science can positively influence law; offering to lawyers new tools and approaches for addressing legal problems. Although the debate on facilitating access to the Internet for all individuals, with as little restriction to online content as possible is continuing for some time, de Hert and Kloza in the final paper argue that proactive measures and adequate safeguards for the certain interests of an individual and of the society are still needed in order to ensure full enjoyment of the Internet.

The journal has also taken a new step by publishing two student papers. These were prize winners in the Paul Tweed Media Prize competition at Queens University in 2012. The editorial team at the EJLT are keen to see this side of the journal develop and hope that teaching staff can guide their best students to submission. We view this as a way to raise student awareness of what is possible through the medium of the assessed essay.

Subhajit Basu [1] and Argyro P. Karanasiou [2]

[1] Senior Lecturer in Law, School of Law, University of Leeds
[2] Lecturer in Law, Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management, Executive Business Centre, Business School, Bournemouth University