Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2010

Publication Citation

17 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 273 (2010)


The Internet, 24-hour news sources, and a host of other telecommunications advances have allowed global citizens to become instantaneously informed. With the privilege of real-time updates and acute awareness of the world's events comes the responsibility of being more than a passive observer. Specifically, this Note focuses on the technological improvements in communication during natural disasters-improvements that can be used to assist and aid the victims of catastrophes. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, the country affected is rarely able to provide for its citizens; tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes can (and often do) cripple an entire nation. This Note argues that a global responsibility exists to step in and help an affected country when it cannot help itself. For instance, the 1998 Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations is the first global attempt to concretely define relief efforts by other nations, without demanding compliance or a singular rigid course of action. Instead, the Convention creates a flexible framework that each member nation can adapt to its own telecommunications infrastructure. In legislating on a global scale, the Convention acknowledges the interconnectedness of the world's people, and presents ways in which global citizens can improve one another's existence in the hours following a natural disaster-arguably when they need help most.