Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

International and Foreign Cyberspace Law Research Guide

This guide covers resources on cyberspace law where issues encompass the Internet, cybercrime, privacy and ecommerce. Cyberspace law can incorporate aspects of comparative, international and foreign law

National Laws on Data Security & Online Privacy

The resources described below will help you identify and/or retrieve national laws pertaining to data security and online privacy.

Bloomberg Law:  Privacy & Data Security
This Bloomberg Law database is the the Georgetown Law Library's most comprehensive and up-to-date resource for researching national laws on data protection and online privacy worldwide.  The primary navigation tabs, which are located at the top of the homepage, are described below. 

  • Advise -- Use this tab to access the following secondary source content:
    • Country Profiles -- Each jurisdiction-specific profile includes:
      • Summaries of data security and privacy laws and regulations and quick links to the full texts thereof (in their original language and sometimes also in English translation);
      • Profiles of relevant regulatory authorities;
      • An overview of the enforcement environment and risk factors; and
      • A discussion of emerging issues and the outlook for future developments.
    • Portfolios -- Each of the 11 portfolios provides practical guidance and insights on a specific aspect of cyber security, data protection or privacy.
    • Requirements Summaries -- Browse by jurisdiction for summaries of laws governing data protection and workplace privacy within the selected jurisdiction.
    • Treatises -- Search or browse content from 16 treatises on topics ranging from data breaches and cyber security to privacy in employment and healthcare.
  • Research -- Use this tab to access the primary law materials described below.  Searches may be limited to a single jurisdiction, geographic region or customized selection of jurisdictions.   Note that primary law is presented in its original language.  English translations are provided for some, but not all, jurisdictions.
    • Statutes -- jurisdictions worldwide, including some sub-national jurisdictions.
    • Regulations -- jurisdictions worldwide.
    • Court Opinions -- U.S. federal and state courts only.
    • Administrative Agency Materials -- jurisdictions worldwide.
    • Pending Legislation -- U.S. federal only.
  • Plan & Execute -- Use this tab to access the following practice tools:
    • In Practice -- Access practical guidance on the following topics:  1) New York cybersecurity requirements for financial institutions, 2) cross-border data transfer, 3) drafting privacy policies, 4) managing data breaches, and 5) managing data risk in mergers and acquisitions.
    • Upcoming Enactments -- This interactive timeline allows you to monitor pending legislation and regulatory changes.  It may be customized by topic or jurisdiction.
    • Chart Builder -- Use this tool to generate side-by-side comparison charts summarizing legislation currently in force in two or more jurisdictions.  Begin by selecting the desired jurisdictions.   Then select the topic.  Note that topical coverage varies by jurisdiction:
      • Jurisdictions Worldwide:  data protection; workplace privacy.
      • U.S. Federal & State Jurisdictions:  breach notification; medical records access, retention & disposal; medical information disclosure; special protections for sensitive health information.
    • EUGDPR -- Use this interactive timeline to monitor implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation by EU member states.  It may be customized by topic or by member state.
  • Stay Current -- This news and current awareness tool covers jurisdictions worldwide.  Browse by topic and/or jurisdiction or search by keyword and filter by date.  It is also possible to set up email alerts.

Additional Resources

  • Council of Europe's Directory of National Data Protection Laws
    This free resource covers all 47 countries that are members of the Council of Europe, as well as 18 non-European countries.  For each jurisdiction, you will find a direct to link the full text of its national data protection law, usually in English translation rather than the original language.  In addition, you will find citations to constitutional provisions that protect the right to privacy, as well as links to the jurisdiction's national data protection authority.
  • Getting the Deal Through (GTDT)
    This multi-jurisdictional resource offers in-depth, practitioner-written summaries of national laws that govern cybersecurity, as well as data protection and privacy, using a question and answer format.  Begin by selecting either "cybersecurity" or "data protection and privacy" from the practice areas menu.  Then select a jurisdiction or use the comparison tool to compare laws across multiple jurisdictions.  Jurisdictional coverage varies by practice area.
  • International Encyclopaedia of Laws -- Cyber Law Online
    This resource offers detailed, book-length summaries of national laws pertaining to information technology in 31 jurisdictions worldwide.  Each jurisdiction-specific treatise follows a standard outline, making it easy to compare laws across jurisdictions.  Topics covered in each outline include privacy (Part VI) and non-contractual liability of network operators and service providers (Part V), among others.  Citations to primary laws are included.  All content is available for download in PDF format.
  • The Foreign Law Guide
    Use this subscription database to identify primary law sources for jurisdictions outside the U.S.  From the homepage, scroll down and click on the tab labeled "Laws by Subject."  Select "Cybercrime, Data Protection, Information & Internet" from alphabetical list of subjects.  Then select the desired jurisdiction and scroll down for laws related to data protection.  In some cases, you will find a direct link to an electronic version of a law.  In other cases, only a citation to a print source is provided.  Ask a librarian for assistance in locating print sources.
  • Global-Regulation 
    This user-friendly subscription database allows you to search by keyword in English for national laws and regulations from 90 jurisdictions worldwide.  After running a search, use the country filters on the left to narrow by jurisdiction or click on the "Advanced Mode" link, displayed above the search results, to enter additional search terms linked by Boolean operators.  For non-English-speaking jurisdictions, machine-generated English translations are provided, along with a link to the law or regulation in its original language.