"The Language of Law on the Internet: Lost in Translation?"

Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann (Postdoc Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders")


Is the Internet governed by norms? Or is the normative vocabulary lost in translation when it is applied to online settings? The foundational myth of the Internet as a space without norms is just that: a myth. I will show that states have a moral right and duty to provide rules for online settings, but that these have to be developed and applied in concert with other stakeholders – and that values and rights can be protected via law but also via code. Indeed, I will show that code is law in that it is normative. But code is not law in that it eliminates law-makers as normative agents in online settings.  As a normative instrument, code has to be treated as law and similarly legitimated. Privacy-sensitive coding, for instance, could make heightened privacy settings the default option, thus encoding human rights into programmes and translating values into code.

30 July 2015, 7pm

Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Campus Westend
Building "Normative Ordnungen", EG 01
Max-Horkheimer-Str. 2




An evening at the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" with following stand-up reception within the Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History. For further information: click here...

Presented by:
Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders"


Ringvorlesung „Demokratie in der Krise? Bruch, Regression und Resilienz“

Unter der wissenschaftlichen Leitung von Prof. Dr. Martin Saar und PD Dr. Thomas Biebricher findet vom 24. April bis 17. Juli 2019 die Ringvorlesung „Demokratie in der Krise? Bruch, Regression und Resilienz“ statt. Mehr...

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New full-text Publications

Kettemann, Matthias; Kleinwächter, Wolfgang; Senges, Max (2018):

The Time is Right for Europe to Take the Lead in Global Internet Governance. Normative Orders Working Paper 02/2018. More...

Kettemann, Matthias (2019):

Die normative Ordnung der Cyber-Sicherheit: zum Potenzial von Cyber-Sicherheitsnormen. Normative Orders Working Paper 01/2019. More...