Explorando la frontera digital

Ensuring authorship of digital messages or how concerns for privacy led to digital signature (Exploring the digital frontier IV)

In my previous post I addressed the issue of how to ensure the integrity of content as ephemeral as that of a digital file, in terms of how it passes from the controlled safekeeping of the physical format in which the file is recorded to a purely “logical” system of file content identification resulting from […]

Working hours: limits and timekeeping

Historically, the main concern about work hours has been to cap the number of hours employees can work in a given period. On the back of past struggles to achieve an eight-hour workday, as a general rule, we now have legal limits on daily working hours. Barring certain notable exceptions (Japan), the majority of western […]

Document integrity in the digital environment: from depositing the media to the hash function: Exploring the Digital Frontier III

In the previous post in this series, I tried to explain how digitization is a unique way of converting information to a binary digital code (a “linguistic” question of how data is coded) so that management of that information can be mechanized electronically (a technological question). Going one step further, I would now like to […]

There’s no such thing as public money

Over a decade ago, a top-level politician allegedly made the now-infamous statement that “nobody owns public money”. Although we do not know whether the politician actually said this and in what context, or if it is an apocryphal story, the phrase is often dredged up to criticize the underlying belief (that public authorities can do […]

Digitalizacion juridica

On electrons, bits and code: exploring the digital frontier II

When us attorneys move about the digital world with a specifically law-based mindset (that is, not as mere tech users), the first thing we run up against are the very concepts of the digital world or, better yet, the terminology. We start throwing around certain words – computerized, digital, electronic, telematic, file – whose exact […]

On the intellectual origin of blockchain (III). More on the recent forerunners

I ended the previous post on the subject of David Chaum and how his DigiCash did not lead to a proper break with traditional cash. The disruptive leap in this respect, even if still only in a theoretical or speculative realm, is attributable to the following two characters in this story. The first of these […]

On the intellectual origin of blockchain (II). Recent forerunners

In the first post in this series on the intellectual origin of blockchain technology, I talked about two figures I consider to be early forerunners: Alan Turing and John von Neumann. In this second installment, I will look at two more recent figures: Tim May and David Chaum (and in a third post, I will […]

Crossroad for unions: domestic or international?

A noticeable change in recent labor union history is a gradual departure from their original international ideas by increasingly narrowing them down to local or domestic matters. The old idea of international proletarianism, and the aspiration to defend workers’ interests worldwide, or at least beyond domestic boundaries, are giving way to union policies heavily conditioned […]

On the intellectual origin of blockchain technology (I). Early forerunners

In my previous contribution to this blog I talked about certain intellectual obstacles that can trip up jurists when dealing with the definition of smart contract and blockchain technology. The first of these is a deficit in technology training. One of the particular features of this technology, now a worldwide talking point due to its […]

Jurists and smart contracts

Jurists tend to come up against two large obstacles when it comes to dealing with smart contracts: – The first problem is coming to grips with the technology; both the specific technology involved in the architecture and mechanics of a blockchain, and general computing technology. On the first subject, what exactly is a peer-to-peer network? […]