Impact of Information Technology, Internet and Social Media on the Court

31 August 2010 Publication
Authors: Peter Vogel

South Texas Law Review

Since the advent of the modern day computer during World War II, information technology (IT) has spread into all aspects of life--more recently, the proliferation of the Internet has again changed the technology landscape for everyone on Earth. The courts in Texas, the United States, and around the world are all dependent on IT because there is less and less paper and a growth of electronic information. As a result, the Internet will continue to change the courts.

Generally, the role of judges involves being the referee of disputes, but increasingly, every case has electronic evidence and now much of that electronic evidence is part of the Internet in the form of social media. This Article discusses the future of IT and the Internet in the courts; however, this Article is written in the context of a historical perspective about how we got here in the first place.

The Internet is the greatest social change in the history of humans because it has no boundaries in geography or time. Of course, in hindsight, other significant inventions also changed humankind such as fire, the wheel, and the printing press. However, as we look at the Internet and its impact on humans, it is difficult to completely understand how society is adapting to the Internet because we are still amidst its great wave of change.

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