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Telecommunications law from around the world

A work in progress, works cited under development.

As telecommunications networks have become more sophisticated, so has the law of telecommunications evolved, with the Internet becoming a greater focus in an ever-increasing digital focus in the economy.  This report will briefly document early legislation and will progress to the present.  A report on data protection goes into more depth on a telecommunications law sub-topic.


International Telecommunications Convention of 1982 – this treaty established the International Telecommunications Union, a standards agency part of the United Nations that deals with communications technology and their development in member states.  In the first section of Article 4, the convention states as its first purpose:

a) to maintain and extend international cooperation between all Members of the Union for the improvement and rational use of telecommunications of all kinds, as well as to promote and to offer technical assistance to developing countries in the field of telecommunications

The treaty also covers the powers member state governments have over private use of communications technology, particularly if the use endangers national security or public order interests.  Article 20 details the powers member states have in suspending international telecommunications service.


Data Protection Directive, Directive 97/66/EC


United Kingdom – Telecommunications Act 1984, Communications Act 2003

United States – Telecommunications Act of 1996, Communications Decency Act

China – Telecommunications Regulations of the People’s Republic of China

With the greater focus in telecommunications in our lives, a potential concern for businesses is the effect of net neutrality legislation on the operation of the Internet.

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