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Mark O'Brien, City University of London,; Brian H Simpson,

In 2024 we wish to continue and extend the discussions and debates we have commenced in previous years that have engaged from a variety of perspectives with the legal regulation of cyberspace and new information technologies. We continue to live in an age of challenge and disruption in the interface of law and information technology which has only been enhanced by the Covid-19 pandemic and what now may come to be the post-pandemic world. Climate change, economic uncertainty and military conflict also highlight the role of information technology in these domains.

While the privacy of our data and the most intimate aspects of our lives captured by information technology presents the law with ongoing challenges, the post-Covid future may embed new forms of state and corporate surveillance, which pose for law various challenges in areas such as privacy, accountability and proportionality. The use of social media to send chilling messages of hate, harassment and offense continues to conflict with its role as a place for uncensored public debate, while we also live in a time when ‘fake news’ peddled online creates added tensions for the law. Robots now intervene in more and more tasks previously undertaken by humans, such as driving, policing and infection control, but at what cost to human interaction? How should the law respond to such technological change?

This stream welcomes papers that seek to critically unwrap these issues and which address how the law has been co-opted into the information and technology age along with the new forms of social and legal space that it has created. Presenters will be invited to submit their finished papers for inclusion in a potential special issue of the journal Information and Communications Technology Law, to be edited by the stream convenors following the conference.

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