Civil cyberlaw

by John Bandler

Civil cyberlaw is that portion of cyberlaw that is not cybercrime. Let's break it down in the context of civil and criminal laws.

Cyberlaw recap

Cyberlaw foundations 2023-7 (2) more detailed

Remember that cyberlaw is the merging of two words, "cyber" and "law".

Cyber essentially means using cyberspace, using the Internet and a computer.

Law is our system of laws, which is a continually evolving process that started hundreds of years ago (thousands even) and continues.

More on this in my article on cyberlaw.

The parts of cyberlaw

Civil cyberlaw is the portion of cyberlaw that does not relate to criminal law. It might relate to cybercrime indirectly, but it does not involve substantive criminal law or the process of investigating cybercrime.

Criminal cyberlaw is the part that relates to cybercrime, the substantive criminal laws and process for investigating and prosecuting cybercrime.

Traditional substantive civil cyber laws

First, remember that almost every "traditional" civil law can be applied to "cyber". That makes sense, since our entire world involves the digital realm. So whatever area of life, business, or law you can think of, we are now doing living that in cyberspace.

All of these areas of law include:

Civil law (a broad category that includes many of the below)

  • Tort law ("wrongs" committed intentionally or negligently)
    • Intentional torts
    • Negligence torts
  • Contract law
  • Intellectual property law
  • Employment law
  • Regulatory law.

Every area of law can involve litigation, and all litigation is going to include "cyber", including with e-discovery.

Data law - specific cyber laws

Then there are laws specific to data and computers and the internet. That includes:

  • Data breach reporting laws
  • Cybersecurity law
  • Privacy law

Procedural civil cyber specific laws

The process of civil procedure now includes all kinds of "cyber", computer, and data related actions.

Court filings are typically electronically filed (e-filed), and the process of electronic discovery now includes massive troves of data.

Is there more to know about civil cyberlaw?

Of course, see some of the references below, especially these two articles:


Civil cyberlaw is built on traditional law. We can broaden our understanding of traditional law, and then see how it applies to cyber, and examine new rules relating to cyber.

This article is (of course) not tailored to your circumstances, nor is it legal or consulting advice.

Additional reading on this site

This article is hosted at, copyright John Bandler, all rights reserved.

Originally posted 6/6/2024, updated 6/6/2024.