Anti-virus technology: filtering the legal issues

Leif Gamertsfelder Deacons

Anti-virus technology: filtering the legal issues

This presentation will explore the legal issues involved in developing and deploying anti-virus technology. The first part of the paper will investigate the legal issues concerning the development of anti-virus technologies. Issues of importance in this context include the circumvention of technological protection measures in order to access an application or file for the purposes of examining it for viruses. In some jurisdictions such access could, perversely, amount to a technical breach of copyright law, contract law or both. This paper will investigate whether this issue is of any real concern to the industry. This investigation will then close with an examination of the issues relating to the reverse engineering of applications or files once access is obtained.

The second part of the paper will examine the legal issues associated with the deployment of anti-virus technologies, including interception, privacy and contractual issues.

The paper will not focus on the laws of any specific jurisdiction, but rather illustrate various points by reference to laws in a number of jurisdictions.


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