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Feb. 22, 2008
Contact: Mindie Paget, School of Law, (785) 864-9205.

KU student publishes article in Journal of Internet Law

LAWRENCE – You’re not as safe as you think you are.

At least that’s the case when it comes to transmitting information over the Internet, according to Cody Wamsley, a student at the University of Kansas School of Law.

“Given the fundamental physical structure of the Internet, virtually anyone connected to the Internet has access to any data transmitted over it,” Wamsley said.

The third-year law student analyzes potential legal solutions to this problem in an article titled “Internet Transmissions: Who Owns the Data and Who Protects It?” The paper appears in the February issue of the Journal of Internet Law. The monthly publication contains scholarship on legal issues and business developments brought about by emerging online systems and computer networks.

In his article, Wamsley argues that the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act offers scant protection to data transmitted over the Internet. Moreover, he finds that property law, privacy law and contract law don’t provide adequate safeguards either.

Ultimately, Wamsley concludes that the best way to protect data is with advanced encryption technology and “to act with awareness that information sent can be intercepted and used by anyone at any time.”

Having an article published in an influential, peer-reviewed publication like the Journal of Internet Law would be an impressive accomplishment for a faculty member, let alone a student, said Andrew Torrance, associate professor of law.

“Cody is one of the finest students I've had the pleasure to teach at KU law school,” Torrance said. “His intuitive grasp of intellectual property, patent law and cyberlaw is so strong that he is able not only to articulate complex legal doctrines fluently, but to question the origins, assumptions and logical bases underlying those doctrines.”

Wamsley majored in computer engineering at the University of California-Santa Barbara and then transferred to KU, where he earned a bachelor’s in business administration in 2004. His emphasis at KU’s law school has been intellectual property law. He is pursuing a media, law and policy certificate and is chair of the Cyberlaw Committee for the Intellectual Property Law Student Association. He is set to graduate in May. He is the son of Dwight Wamsley of Wichita and Joan Wamsley of Derby. He is a graduate of Wichita Collegiate High School.

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