CFP: Special Issue of Internet Policy Review on Power, Jurisdiction and Surveillance

Topic and relevance

The rise of digital technology has major implications for how states and corporations wield coercive regulatory power through the transnational administration of justice. Increases in data transmitted and stored by public and private actors across jurisdictions raise crucial questions about how individual rights and freedoms can be protected in an era of seemingly ubiquitous transnational surveillance. The expanded development and application of domestic and international law to address behaviour in digital spaces, includes existing law applied to online activities, and new law to cover a growing range of internet-specific conduct. A pertinent site of state and corporate power in the digital realm involves attempts to develop and enforce domestic laws, especially criminal laws, transnationally. These processes generally occur outside existing domestic legislative frameworks, and raises questions about how national sovereignty, extraterritoriality and state and corporate interests are expanding at the expense of individual rights and freedoms in digital societies.

Scope of the special issue
This special issue considers how the intersections between power, justice and space challenge existing conceptual and theoretical categories of contemporary law, that span the fields of criminology, international relations, digital media and other related disciplines (see e.g. Johnson & Post, 1996; Goldsmith & Wu, 2006; Brenner, 2009; Hilderbrandt, 2013; DeNardis, 2014). The legal geographies of the contemporary digital world require rethinking in light of calls for a more sophisticated and nuanced approach to understanding sovereignty, jurisdiction and the power to exercise control, yet still protect individual rights through law in the electronic age (Svantesson, 2013). These issues raise a host of additional contemporary and historical questions about the authority exerted by the US over extraterritorial conduct in various fields including laws relating to crime, intellectual property, surveillance and national security (see e.g. Schiller, 2011; Bauman et al., 2014; Boister, 2015).

Legal geography is an emerging multidisciplinary area of inquiry, concerned with interrogating how law is connected to, and interacts with, the social and physical worlds (Braverman et al., 2014). By emphasising how the legitimate exercise of power occurs in and through space, legal geography is of significant relevance to online environments. Initial arguments about regulating the transnational nature of the internet describe the notion of sovereignty becoming ‘softened’ (Culnan & Trinkunas, 2010), while emphasising the need to move beyond outmoded binary notions of extraterritoriality (Svantesson, 2013; 2014; 2017).

The nation-state can assert jurisdictional reach through the extraterritorial exercise of power. This is more likely to involve powerful geopolitical actors such as the United States, which has recently enacted the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, and the European Union, via its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The emergence of large transnational corporations providing critical virtual and physical infrastructure adds private governance to this equation, which offers further new dimensions to the rule of law and also self- or co-regulation (see for e.g. Goldsmith & Wu, 2006; DeNardis & Hackl, 2015; Suzor, 2018; Brown & Marsden, 2013). Some of the ways jurisdictional tensions emerge in online spaces – with corresponding offline effects – occur through policing and law enforcement practices in the fields of criminal, intellectual property and corporate law. However, the lack of uniformity of these laws at domestic levels can lead to complicated and protracted legal disputes between nations, or amongst different agencies within nations (Palmer & Warren, 2013). Additional concerns arise regarding whether and how due process and human rights protections are maintained through the extraterritorial access to e-evidence (Warren, 2015; Svantesson & Gerry, 2015), the extradition of alleged offenders (Mann & Warren, 2018; Mann et al., 2018), and new and emerging powers many national law enforcement agencies now possess to engage extraterritorial surveillance and offshore government hacking.

Focus of the papers
Power and jurisdiction are central to understanding justice and regulating the contemporary digital environment. For this special issue, Internet Policy Review invites theoretical, empirical, and methodological papers from law, criminology, digital humanities, critical surveillance studies, and related disciplines on the following issues, which bear relevance to European societies and highlight policy implications or make a reference to regulatory debates:
• How the concept of legal geography can be applied to activities in, and regulation of, digital spaces;
• The impact of the expansion in domestic and international cybercrime, data protection and intellectual property laws on concepts of jurisdiction, sovereignty and extraterritoriality;
• The geopolitical impacts of domestic and international cybercrime laws such as the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention), the recent United States CLOUD Act and other lawful access regimes including EU e-Evidence proposals;
• The application of due process requirements in the contemporary policing of digital spaces;
• The objectives of justice in the study of private governance in online environments; and
• The implications of these transnational developments for current and future policy and regulation of online activities and spaces.

A selection of contributions will be made from extended abstracts. Authors of papers selected for the special issue will be invited to present and discuss their paper at a workshop to be held in Brisbane, Australia, in late 2019 (aligned with the Association of Internet Researchers annual conference which will be hosted by QUT Digital Media Research Centre). The workshop will enable exchange of ideas on these timely issues, provide peer-feedback for the finalisation of the papers and promote the forthcoming special edition. A sub-selection of papers will be selected for the special issue based on regular peer review.

Special issue editors
Dr Monique Mann (
Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow in Technology and Regulation
School of Justice, Faculty of Law
Queensland University of Technology

Dr Angela Daly (
Assistant Professor
Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law

Important dates
Release of the call for papers March 2019
Deadline for expression of interest and abstract submissions (500 word abstracts) 26th April 2019

Invitation to submit full text submissions May 2019
Full text submissions deadline August 2019

All details on text submissions can be found under

Peer review process September 2019
Workshop in Brisbane 1st of October 2019 (attendance is not compulsory)
Resubmission of papers following review January 2020
Preparation for publication February 2020
Publication March 2020

Bauman, Z., Bigo, D., Esteves, P., Guild, E., Jabri, V., Lyon, D. and Walker, R.B.J. (2014). After Snowden: Rethinking the impact of surveillance. International Political Sociology, 8(2), 121-144. Doi: 10.1111/ips.12048.

Boister, N. (2015). Further reflections on the concept of transnational criminal law. Transnational Legal Theory, 6(1), 9-30.

Braverman, I., Blomley, N., Delaney, D., & Kedar, A. (2014). The expanding spaces of law: A timely legal geography. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Brenner, S. W. (2009). Cyberthreats: The emerging fault lines of the nation state. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Brown, I., & Marsden, C. T. (2013). Good governance and better regulation in the information age. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Clunan, A., & Trinkunas, H. (Eds.) (2010). Ungoverned spaces: Alternatives to state authority in an era of softened sovereignty. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

DeNardis, L. (2014). The global war for internet governance. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

DeNardis, L. & Hackl, A. M. (2015). Internet governance by social media platforms. Telecommunication Policy, 39, 761-770.

Goldsmith, J. & Wu, T. (2006). Who controls the internet: Illusions of a borderless world. New York, Oxford University Press.

Hilderbrandt, M. (2013). Extraterritorial jurisdiction to enforce in cyberspace: Bodin,

Schmitt, Grotius in cyberspace, University of Toronto Law Journal, 63, 196-224.

Johnson, D. & Post, D. (1996). Law and borders: The rise of law in cyberspace,

Stanford Law Review, 48(5), 1367-1402.

Mann, M. & Warren, I. (2018). The digital and legal divide: Silk road, transnational online policing and southern criminology. In Carrington, Kerry, Hogg, Russell, Scott,

John, & Sozzo, Máximo (Eds.) Handbook of Criminology and the Global South. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 245-260.

Mann, M., Warren, I. & Kennedy, S. (2018). The legal geographies of transnational cyber-prosecutions: extradition, human rights and forum shifting, Global Crime, 19(2), 107-124.

Palmer, D. and Warren, I. (2013). Global policing and the case of Kim Dotcom. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 2(3), 105-119.

Schiller, D. (2011). Special commentary: Geopolitical-economic conflict and network infrastructures. Chinese Journal of Communication, 4(1), 90-107.

Suzor, N. (2018). Digital constitutionalism: Using the rule of law to evaluate the legitimacy of governance by platforms. Social Media and Society, 1-11.

Svantesson, D. (2013). A ‘layered approach’ to the extraterritoriality of data privacy laws. International Data Privacy Law, 3(4), 278-286.

Svantesson, D. (2014). Sovereignty in international law – how the internet (maybe) changed everything, but not for long. Masaryk University Journal of Law and Technology, 8(1), 137-155.

Svantesson, D., & Gerry, S. (2015). Access to extraterritorial evidence: The Microsoft cloud case and beyond. Computer Law & Security Review, 31, 478-489.

Svantesson, D. (2017). Solving the internet jurisdiction puzzle. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Warren, I. (2015). Surveillance, criminal law and sovereignty, Surveillance & Society, 13(2), 300-305.

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