Editorial

Paul Maharg

This is our third and final issue of 2015, and we have a variety of articles that reflect the development of national and international regimes on a number of key technologies - mobile telecoms, nanotechnologies, legal education and cybersecurity. They also critique the role of regulation and regulators across each of these technologies.

On the subject of mobile telecoms regulation, Bruce Wardhaugh observes the differences between the competition regimes of developed and developing countries, and draws conclusions on the forms of regulation that may suit the latter. Wardhaugh argues for situational sense to be applied to the process of transplantation - for competition rules that do not simply emerge from a legal system or are transplanted, but that are sensitive to the needs of a local social context and market.

Daniele Ruggiu, who published in the journal last year, turns to the EU regulatory framework on nanotechnologies. His detailed analysis tracks the different trends of regulation adopted by the European Commission and Parliament since the early 2000s. He notes the hybrid source and nature of the regulatory direction, its case-by-case development and the risks of incoherence that stem from such an approach. In its place he proposes a framework approach with emphasis on human rights and earlier interventions in the regulatory process.

It may seem odd to describe legal education as a technology, but taken broadly, a curriculum is a form of technological design thinking. It is closely allied to the forms of physical technology that we use in its design - institutions, buildings, furniture such as white/black boards, digital devices, etc - and to those involved in it - students, academic staff, administrators, etc. Helen Gubby identifies a curriculum gap in knowledge and skills for business students, namely the field of intellectual property. In a closely-argued article she states the case for integrated and interdisciplinary IP programmes, noting the need for IP to be part of a general undergraduate programme, and discusses as well a more specialized patent law and strategy syllabus at Masters level.

In our final peer-reviewed article Antonio Segura-Serrano analyses in detail how critical information infrastructures and internet operators' obligations are protected. He contrasts the regulatory approaches of the US and the EU (with focus on the latter's Proposal for a Directive on Network and Information Security and its probable effects), noting that the 'result of the current [international] process might be more, instead of fewer, conflicting legal regimes'.

In their commentary Stylianou, Venturini and Zingales present the results of their study of the terms and conditions of a variety of cloud service providers. They focused in particular on privacy and data protection issues arising from providers engaged in activities such as storage of data (eg Dropbox), Collaboration (eg Github), and Platform or Infrastructure as a Service (PaaS/IaaS, eg Cloudant). A number of problematic issues emerged from their comparisons, mostly to do with the power and informational asymmetries that exist between users and providers and the 'contractual imbalances' that they create. Thus, in their discussion of results the authors observed that terms which appeal to user concerns are more likely to appear in a ToS; and that smaller companies 'seem to be more respectful of user privacy'.

In next year's volume of the journal we shall have at least one special issue. We are keen to host special issues on specific aspects of law and technology - please feel free to contact the journal's editors, Paul Maharg or Abhilash Nair if you wish to propose a subject.