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Ensuring the Possibility of Internet-Based Communication – an Assessment of the Concept of Protection in German Basic Law

Ensuring the Possibility of Internet-Based Communication – an Assessment of the Concept of Protection in German Basic Law

Access to information via Internet-based services and applications and the possibility of communicating via the Internet, are decisively important for individuals in the information society. Against this background, the question arises as to the status of constitutional guarantees for the individuals’ possibilities concerning Internet-based communication: does the Basic Law perhaps contain a comprehensive "basic right to Internet access" and, if so, what guarantees does it incorporate? The background to this doctoral project’s legal analysis is formed by a heuristic analytical framework, which combines the model of technological information transfer with the actual conditions for the individual use of technological systems in order to convey information and specifies the "Internet" as an object of study. It assists in making the differentiated structure and the extent of the guarantees under constitutional law explicit.

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Project Description

Based on a comparison of models for information infrastructure, this project establishes a differentiation of levels by content, code (logical-infrastructural level) and channel (physical-infrastructural level) concerning the internet. Following this, it will be combined with commonly necessary and actual conditions to a matrix, which will provide the analytical aspects needed for further legal examination.

At first, these three levels will be examined under constitutional law. The analysis shows, to what extent the already existing constitutional guarantees meet the previously identified aspects. Thus, it will be clear, to what extent the constitution ensures the possibility of internet-based communication to individual holders of fundamental rights. 

Subsequently, selected regulatory regimes of telecommunication and copyright law will be assessed, for various levels of technical information transference, whether the current assurance, as provided by sub-constitutional legislation, of individual, Internet-based access to information accords with the identified demands of constitutional law.

Project Information


Duration: 2011-2015

Research programme:
RP2 - Regulatory Structures and the Emergence of Rules in Digital Communication

Involved persons

Dr. Markus Oermann

Third party

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Senior Researcher

Dr. Markus Oermann

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