Digital Democracy: 2003

Harvard Law School

Tuesdays, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., Hauser 104

Prof. Charles Nesson, Andrew McLaughlin,
Michael Best
, Geoffrey Kirkman, Colin Maclay,
James Moore, John Palfrey, and Ethan Zuckerman

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Class 1: September 9, 2003

Under the Hood:
An Insider's Look at Internet Architecture and Institutitions

Leads: Andrew McLaughlin and Ethan Zuckerman

In order to make sense of the legal, political, social, and policy issues that are created by new technologies, it is essential to understand how those technologies work in practice. At the heart of this course is an examination of how the spread of open, distributed, decentralized digital networks is changing (or not) the dynamics of power in business, economics, politics, society, and culture in the developing world. As a foundation for the rest of the course, the first class will be a user-friendly introduction to the nuts and bolts of Internet and telephone networks. We will look under the hood of the Internet and compare it with pre-Internet communications networks. In doing so, we will explore and assess the basis for the claim that the Internet's architecture embodies a profound and consequential shift from centralized and controlled to decentralized and open communications networks.

Required Readings:

Zuckerman and McLaughlin, Introduction to Internet Architecture and Institutions (2003). (An imperfectly-formatted .pdf version is also available.)

Optional Background Materials:

PBS, Packet Switching Demo (Flash) (A very cool, very simple, very visual demo for beginners!)

Ramesh Johari, Tech Tutorial (audio recording)


Class 2: September 16, 2003

Telecom vs. Internet:
The Regulation of Communications in Africa

Lead: Andrew McLaughlin

This week's class will be conducted via videoconference with Johannesburg, South Africa, where intrepid instructor Andrew McLaughlin will be joined by a set of African technology experts from the governmental, entrepreneurial, technical, activist, and academic sectors -- individuals on the front lines of Internet deployment in Africa. The class will provide a practical look at the regulatory landscape for communications networks in developing countries, focusing on the fierce clashes between national monopoly telecom companies and Internet service providers, and on the ways in which African governments have attepted to regulate Internet services and access. Specific topics will include ISP licensing, wireless Internet, voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP), access to satellite and fiber optics links, and network interconnection. More broadly, we will be introduced to the complex political and economic environment in which the battles over Internet in Africa are being fought.

Required Readings:

Acacia Project, Digital Divide Map - The Internet: Out of Africa (2002)

M. Jensen, ICTs in Africa: A Status Report (2003) (.pdf)

A. McLaughlin, Mongolia Diary (, 2003) (read Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)

In addition, please skim through one of the country case studies listed in (b), below.

Optional Background Reading:

(a) Communications Regulation and Reform - General

Acacia project, Inside Africa: Map of Teleaccess (2003) (animated .gif)

Estache, Manacorda, and Valletti, Telecommunications Reform, Access Regulation and Internet Adoption in Latin America (2002) (.pdf)

Fink, Mattoo, and Rathindran, An Assessment of Telecommunications Reform in Developing Countries (2002) (.pdf)

Fink, Mattoo, and Rathindran, Liberalizing Basic Telecommunications: The Asian Experience (2001) (.pdf)

F. Gebreab, Getting Connected: Competition and Diffusion in African Mobile Telecommunications Markets (2002) (.pdf)

A. Gillwald, National Convergence Policy in a Globalised World: Preparing South Africa for Next Generation Networks, Services, and Regulation (2003) (.pdf)

W. Melody, Stimulating Investment in Network Development: Roles for Telecom Regulation (2003) (.pdf)

OECD, "Trends in IP Technology: Their Impact on the Traditional Telephony Carrier World" (2002) (.pdf)

S. Wallsten, Regulation and Internet Use in Developing Countries (2002) (.pdf)

(b) Communications Regulation and Reform - Country Case Studies

SIDA Country ICT Surveys:

Hagarty, Shirley, and Wallsten, Telecommunications Reform in Ghana (2002) (.pdf)

Clarke, Gebreab, and Mgombelo, Telecommunications Reform in Malawi (2003) (.pdf)

Laffont and N'Guessan, Telecommunications Reform in Côte d’Ivoire (2002) (.pdf)

Dia, N'Guessan, and Azam, Telecommunications Reform in Senegal (2002) (.pdf)

Tusubira, Gebreab, Haggarty, and Shirley, Telecommunications Reform in Uganda (2002) (.pdf)

(c) WiFi

GIPI, Regulatory Treatment of 802.11b Services (2002) (.pdf)

(d) VOIP

GIPI, Voice-Over-IP: The Future of Communications (2002) (.pdf)

H. Intven, "Internet Telephony: The Regulatory Issues" (1998)

(e) ISP Licensing

GIPI, Licensing Options for Internet Service Providers (2002) (.pdf)


Class 3: September 23, 2003

Part I:
Telcos vs. ISPs - The VOIP Conundrum

Leads: Ethan Zuckerman and Andrew McLaughlin

This week, the class will dive head-first into perhaps the hottest fight -- with the highest stakes -- in the struggles over communications networks in developing countries. We will take part in a simulated negotiation on Voice-Over-the-Internet-Protocol (VOIP), the technology that allows individuals to make voice telephone calls using Internet connections. VOIP promises to bring low-cost, high-reliability voice services to developing countries; however, VOIP deprives developing countries of revenues from the international telephony settlement system (totalling US $7 billion last year), contributes nothing into existing universal service funds, and threatens to undercut the often-fragile stability of the often-struggling incumbent telephone infrastructure providers.

Set in the fabled developing country of Berkmania, the VOIP negotiation will put students into the shoes of three key players in the debate: the regulatory authority, the monopoly telecom company, and the Internet service providers. All parties will have access to a common background Scenario paper; each party will also have a Secret Briefing to inform its negotiating strategies and positions. The negotiation will take place during class on September 23; in the week leading up to the negotiation, students should prepare by carefully reviewing the Scenario and Secret Briefing papers.

Required Readings:

The VOIP Negotiation:

  • The Scenario (general background briefing for all three parties)
  • Secret Briefings (will be sent directly by email to each student):
    • Communications Regulatory Commission (CRC) of Berkmania
    • Berkmani Telecom (BT)
    • Berkmani Internet Service Providers Association (BISPA)

G. Pascal Zachary, "Searching for a Dial Tone in Africa" (New York Times, 5 July 2003) (distributed in class)

Optional Background Materials:

OECD, Trends in IP Technology: Their Impact on the Traditional Telephony Carrier World (2002) (.pdf)

GIPI, Voice-Over-IP: The Future of Communications (2002) (.pdf)

Part II:
Decisionmaking and the Political Economy of Technology

Lead: Geoffrey Kirkman

While the job of the policy analyst is to understand the narrow implications of nuanced legislation and policy, no policy decision takes place in a narrow vacuum, and the any policy decision has the potential to reverberate through a country's economy and society. Policy-makers at the highest level are confronted by countless sources of information that are interpreted, intermediated and affected by advisors, tough economic choices and political pressure and realities. How do ICT policy analysts search for greater relevance of their particular expertise, and how do heads-of-state or other highest level decision-makers balance competing data, political needs and advice regarding ICTs?

Required Readings:

Kirkman, Osorio and Sachs, "The Networked Readiness Index: Measuring the Preparedness of Nations for the Networked World," in the Global Information Technology Report 2001-2002 (.pdf)

D. Friedman, "One Dimensional Growth," (The Atlantic Monthly, January/February 2003).

Three country profiles (of your choice, including your selected country if available on the list) from the Global Information Technology Report 2001-2002.

Beardsley, Beyer von Morgenstern, Enriquez and Kipping, "Telecommunications Sector Reform - A Prerequisite for Networked Readiness," in the Global Information Technology Report 2001-2002 (.pdf).

Skim through the following website: Readiness for the Networked World: A Guide for Developing Countries (2000)

Then read:

National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) Policies and Plans (e-strategies) - Zambia (2002)

Remarks by Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen of Finland at the International Northern eDimension Forum (.pdf)

Optional Background Materials:

Kirkman, Driggs Gonzalez, Lopes, Putnam and Ragatz, "Readiness for the Networked World: The Dominican Republic," (2002) (.pdf).

A. Gillwald, LINK Centre, "Strengthening Participation by Developing Countries in International Decision-Making: Case Study of South Africa," (2002) (.pdf).

GIPI, "A Process for Developing Internet Policy: A Model of the National ICT/Internet Summit," (.pdf).

N. Hafkin, "Gender Issues in ICT Policy IN Developing Countries," (2002) (.pdf).


Class 4: September 30, 2003

The Wireless Revolution and Universal Access

Lead: Michael Best

A revolution is developing in rural and universal access fueled by a suite of new terrestrial wireless technologies and matched by supportive public policies and business approaches. One emerging approach, that can provide decentralized services cheaply to rural and under-served communities, has small entrepreneurs purchasing inexpensive basic radio equipment and transmitting on unlicensed frequencies. Collections of these local operators begin to weave together a patchwork of universal access where little or no telecommunications services existed before.

Required Readings:

Michael Best, "The Wireless Revolution and Universal Access" (2003) (.pdf)

Optional Background Materials:

George Clarke, and Scott Wallsten, "Universal(ly Bad) Service: Providing Infrastructure Services to Rural and Poor Urban Consumers" (2002) (click here for .pdf of full paper)


Class 5: October 7, 2003

Smart Mobs, Weblogs, Hacktivism: Social and Political Implications of Decentralized Networks

Leads: Ethan Zuckerman, Andrew McLaughlin, James Moore

Guest: Joichi Ito

This week, we step back from the intensive focus on technology (Internet vs. telecom, VOIP, WiFi) to consider the broader social and political implications of decentralized networks. In particular, we'll take a look at smart mobs, weblogs, and hacktivism.

Our guest will be Joichi Ito. Joi is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, techie, activist, widely-read blogger, and much, much more. Check out his website -- it's an amazing hub of realtime online activity, exploration, and activism. Joi's notes for the class are posted here.

Required Readings:

Howard Rheingold, Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution, (2003), Introduction, Chapter 6 ("Wireless Quilts"), and first part of Chapter 7 ("Smart Mobs and the Power of the Mobile Many") (packet available at Berkman Center, Baker House)

Joichi Ito, Emergent Democracy (static version - March 2003)

Leander Kahney, "Citizen Reporters Make the News" (Wired, 17 May 2003)

Eric Ellis, "Revolution: How text messaging toppled Joseph Estrada" (Time, 23 January 2001)

Michelle Delio, "Blogs Opening Iranian Society?" (Wired, 28 May 2003)

Hossein Derakhshan, "Weblogs, An Iranian Perspective" (28 March 2003)

Margaret Wente, "The story of the Internet and the frustrated Mullahs" (Globe and Mail, 20 May 2003)

Doc Searls and David Weinberger, World of Ends: What the Internet Is and How to Stop Mistaking It for Something Else (2003)

Chris Sprigman, "Hacking for Free Speech" (Modern Practice, July 2003)

Optional Background Materials:

Joichi Ito, Emergent Democracy (dynamic Wiki version 1.31)

Chris Lydon interviews.. Visitor from the Next Planet: Joi Ito (10 September 2003)

David Kirkpatrick, "I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends of Friends of Friends" (Fortune, 30 September 2003)

Geoff Girvitz, "Bringing the Mountain to Mohammed" (Shift, 26 July 2002)

Erin McLaughlin, "Iran keeps an eye on the bloggers" (CNN, 18 July 2003)

Mark Glaser, "Weblogs Unite to Protest Detained Iranian Blogger" (Online Journalism Review, April 2003)

Spectrum Policy

Also, here are the readings about the very hot, very current debate over spectrum policy. The Gilmore piece is a solid, readable introduction to the issue; the Werbach piece is a bit more dense, but comprehensive and action-packed.

Required Spectrum Readings (short & sweet!):

Dan Gilmore, "Imagine: A World with Unlimited Airwaves" (Mercury News, 19 May 2002)

Kevin Werbach, Open Spectrum - Issue Brief (1 October 2002) (.pdf)

Optional Spectrum Readings:

David P. Reed, Comments for FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force on Spectrum Policy (8 July 2002)

New America Foundation, Citizen's Guide to the Airwaves (2003)

Michael Calabrese and J.H. Snider, "Up in the Air: As the world goes wireless, the radio spectrum is emerging as the most valuable resource of the information age" (Atlantic Monthly, 1 September 2003)

Class 6: October 14, 2003

IP Imperialism

Lead: Prof. Charles Nesson

Copyright-related issues have become increasingly relevant and important for developing countries as they enter the information age and struggle to participate in the knowledge-based global economy. The extension of copyright control to software, and the extension of the copyright regime around the world to developing nations puts huge pressure on the ability of those in developing nations to minimize software piracy and yet still gain the benefits offered by information technology.

Required Reading:

Charles Nesson, IP Imperialism (2003) (.pdf)

Optional Background Materials:

William Fisher, Intellectual Property in Cyberspace (Berkman online lecture & discussion series, 2000)

U.K. Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Final Report (2002)

Business Software Alliance, 2003 Global Software Piracy Study (2003) (.pdf)

South African National Advisory Council on Innovation, Open Standards and Open Source Software in South Africa (2002)

Class 7: October 21, 2003

Political organizing and new forms of communication: The social and technical aspects of collective cognition and action

Leads: James Moore and Andrew McLaughlin

Guest: Yossi Vardi

This is undoubtedly the year that the web gets credit for influencing American politics. The Dean campaign,, MeetUp, and the combined effect of hundreds of political blogs assure that. But what is happening may involve more than the simple adoption of new technology to do old things -- in these cases to organize supporters, fundraise, to schedule meetings and rallies, and to debate. New communications technologies are enabling new forms of both individual and community behavior across wide swatches of society. Politics is not the only area that is changing. How Americans meet each other and couple up are being fundamentally transformed by, Friendster, and other social software.

In this class we explore in some detail the social psychology of these new phenomena, and then ask ourselves about the implications for political participation and democracy. Our guest speaker is Yossi Vardi. Yossi Vardi is a social thinker and one of the pioneers of worldwide instant messaging and social software. He was the founding investor and former chairman of Mirablis Ltd., the creator of the extremely popular Internet communication program ICQ, which defined global software success and became AOL instant messaging. One of Israel's leading venture capitalists currently with International Technologies Ventures, Vardi continues to focus on how people communicate, how communities develop, and how communication technology can enable social evolution. Yossi is particularly interested in how specific attributes of communications applications can foster particular sorts of social inventions and community action. For example, the low latency, spontaneous connections afforded by instant messaging provide an "e-presence" that allows groups of physically distant individuals to collaborate closely as if collocated with each other.

Yossi will explore the implications of the spread of new communications applications for society, and discuss issues in what might be called the "e-neurology" of social action. Many who study the field of social software suggest that neurology provides a good analogy for considering the community cognition and action enabled by new applications of technology. In this analogy, individuals play the role of discrete neurons and form neuronal clusters in broader networks. Communication services and applications make up the neuronal wiring-the synapses-that connect individuals into the network. For example, "The Second Superpower Rears its Beautiful Head" suggests that political outsiders with shared values can find each other, share ideas, and take action more effectively than before because they are the beneficiaries of a web-enabled community neurology. We have yet to have a systematic understanding of the socio-technical systems that are evolving. This session will make first moves in that direction.

The class will take place at 5:00 PM in Hauser 104. The lecture is open to the public and is being advertised as "The Edge Against the Hub: The Struggle for Dominance of the Internet." Class members will be assured seating.

James Moore, "The Second Superpower Rears Its Beautiful Head" (Berkman working paper, 2003)

Lucas Welch, "Social Democracy Literature and Cases" (2003) (.pdf)

Yossi Vardi, "Notes for The Edge Against the Hub: The Struggle for Dominance of the Internet" (2003) (.pdf)

Clay Shirky, "Social Software and the Politics of Groups" (2003)

Optional Background Materials:

Clay Shirky, "Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality" (2003)

David Sifry (founder of Technorati) interviewed by Chris Lydon (2003) (.mp3)

Eric Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar (2000)

David Isenberg, The Rise of the Stupid Network (1996), The Dawn of the Stupid Network (1998)

John Perry Barlow, The Economy of Ideas: A Framework for Patents and Copyrights in the Digital Age (1994)

Class 8: November 4, 2003

Intellectual Property and the Economics of Culture: Indigenous Knowledge, Shamans, Folklore, and Traditional Music

Leads: Andrew McLaughlin, Ethan Zuckerman, Colin Maclay

Some argue that the Internet frees knowledge, builds communities, and enables global distribution of local cultural products; others that it commodifies knowledge, steamrollers local identity, and fosters a global American hegemony of Hollywood to Britney Spears. This week, we look at the effect of digital technologies on the (in)ability of developing countries to afford legal protection to locally-produced traditional and indigenous creative works. As you do the readings this week, consider the following: What interests are really being protected and what interests are being harmed by international intellectual property regimes? Is there any empirical or other evidence that suggests that intellectual property rights help or hinder development? How do intellectual property laws interact with the politics of power, local culture and economics? Can a single policy fit diverse nations with diverse industries, economies, cultures, etc.? What are the costs and benefits of conforming to international intellectual property norms and adopting international treaties?

Required Reading:

Kim Nayyer, Globalization of Information: Intellectual Property Law Implications First Monday, volume 7, number 1 (January 2002)

Peter Yu, Bridging the Digital Divide: Equality in the Information Age, 20 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 1 (2002)

Simona Fuma Shapiro, The Culture Thief, Journal of the New Rules Project (Fall 2000)

David Rothkopf, In Praise of Cultural Imperialism?, Foreign Policy, Number 107 (Summer 1997)

Michael M. Phillips, "Ghana's Textile Industry Combats Cheap Knockoffs; Poor Stealing From the Poor," Wall Street Journal, at B1 (12 July 2002) (distributed by email)

Optional Background Materials:

U.K. Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Final Report, Chapter 4: Traditional Knowledge and Graphical Indications (2002) (.pdf) (pages 1-11 only)

UNESCO database of national copyright legislation

Papers from the World Bank's Workshop on Developing the Music Industry of Africa:

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website on Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions (Folklore)

Michael Blakeney, "Intellectual Property in the Dreamtime - Protecting the Cultural Creativity of Indigenous Peoples" Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre (November 1999) (.pdf)

Keith Aoki, Neocolonialism, Anticommons Property, and Biopiracy in the (Not-So-Brave) New World Order of International Intellectual Property Protection, 6 Ind. J. Global Leg. Stud. 11 (1998) (from Symposium: Sovereignty and the Globalization of Intellectual Property)

Class 9: November 11, 2003

e-Democracy, e-Politics, e-Repression

Lead: Andrew McLaughlin

This week, we turn our sights to the impact of digital networks on governments, democracy, and politics. We will seek to assess what the basis of and prospects for significant changes in the mechanics of democratic institutions and political campaigns. We will also examine how some authoritarian governments are seeking to turn the Internet into a reliable tool of repression and propaganda.

Required Reading:


Stephan Coleman and John Gøtze, Bowling Together: Online Public Engagement in Policy Deliberation (read pages 3-35) (2002) (.pdf)


Take a quick comparative look at the following presidential campaign websites (and/or others, if you prefer):


Marcus Alexander, The Internet in Putin's Russia: Reinventing a Technology of Authoritarianism (April 2003) (.pdf)

Shanthi Kalathil, "Dot-Com for Dictators," (Foreign Policy, March 2003)

Jonathan Zittrain, Be Careful What You Ask For: Reconciling a Global Internet and Local Law (2003)

Optional Background Materials:

e-Democracy and e-Politics:

Benchmarking E-government: A Global Perspective (United Nations, 2001) (.pdf)

Steven Clift, The E-Democracy E-Book: Democracy is Online 2.0 (2000)

The Minnesota E-Democracy Project

Pippa Norris, Deepening Democracy via E-Governance, chapter for UN World Public Sector Report (2003) (.pdf)


Shanthi Kalathil and Taylor Boas, Open Networks, Closed Regimes: The Impact of the Internet on Authoritarian Rule (2003)

Zittrain and Edelman, Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China (2002)

Zittrain and Edelman, Documentation of Internet Filtering in Saudi Arabia (2002)

Class 10: November 18, 2003

Global Attention: a Right to be Heard?

Lead: Ethan Zuckerman

Japan and Nigeria have approximately the same population. On any given day, however, there will likely be seven times as many stories in the mainstream US press about Japan than about Nigeria. There is strong evidence that pervasive biases ensure that stories about wealthy and powerful nations will be better reported than stories about poor nations. Is this evidence of racism or nationalism, or a demonstration of market forces at work? Should readers who are only interested in domestic affairs be compelled (or encouraged) to encounter news about the developing world? Do the citizens of developing nations have a right to have their stories heard by the developed world?

Required Reading:

Nicholas Negroponte, "Being Digital", chapter 12, "Less is More" (1995) (in reading packet, available at the distribution center)

Cass Sunstein, "", chapters 1 and 2, "The Daily Me" and "An Analogy and An Ideal" (2001) (in reading packet, available at the distribution center)

"Africa's Forgotten Wars", from the 5th International Agenda Setting Conference (2003) (.pdf)

Ethan Zuckerman, "Global Attention Profiles", working paper (.pdf) and op-ed (2003)

Optional Background Materials:

Daniele Mezzana , "A Cancerous Image: The Causes of Africa's Negative and Reductive Image" (2002) (taken from the currently-nonfunctional African Societies website)

Johan Galtung and Mari Holmboe Ruge, "The Structure of Foreign News" (1965) (distributed by email)

Extra-special caselaw extravaganza for the truly interested:

CBS, Inc. v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94 (1973) [Read Chief Justice Burger's opinion, Part II of Justice Douglas's concurring opinion, and Parts II and III of Justice Brennan's dissenting opinion.]

CBS, Inc. v. FCC, 453 U.S. 367 (1981) [Read Parts I-A, II-D, and IV of Chief Justice Burger's opinion]

Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997) [Read the portions of Justice Stevens' opinion describing the Internet (under "The Internet" at the beginning) and analyzing the differences between Internet and broadcast (search for the first reference to "Red Lion" and read that and the following several paragraphs)]

Class 11: November 25, 2003

Ecosystems for ICT Entrepreneurship in the Public Interest

Leads: John Palfrey and James Moore

In developing economies, what kind of environment is most conducive to the growth of digital businesses? This class will focus on the types of legal, policy, and regulatory decisions that a developing country faces as it seeks to create an ecosystem in which information and communication technology (ICT) entrepreneurs can thrive. In the process, ICT entrepreneurs create new networks, build a middle class, and add political pressure to existing power structures.

In this session, the first segment will consider a series of layers of conflicts that we have considered throughout the term -- conflicts related to the emergence of VoIP, wireless, ad-hoc networks, struggles at the edge and at the hub, and the ways that a state reacts to the threats or the opportunities of emergent democracy. The second half of class will involve a mock session of a legislature in Ghana, in which a group of class members will represent entrepreneurs pursuing a business model like that of Busy Internet (see the case study, below) and the balance of the class will be members of the legislature. We will analyze what sort of a legal regime would best foster development of ICT businesses like Busy Internet, and will face down some of the harsh questions that decision-makers in developing countries must regularly address.

Required Readings:

Jim Moore, John Palfrey & Urs Gasser, ICT and Entrepreneurship (2003)
(Please be sure to read the Busy Internet Case study!)

Jim Moore, Digital Business Ecosystems in Developing Countries (.pdf) (2003)


Class 12: December 2, 2003

Tying It All Together: A Very Special WSIS PrepCom

Leads: Andrew McLaughlin and Ethan Zuckerman

Special guest: Jonathan Zittrain

In this, our final session of the semester, class will take the form of a Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which will take place in Geneva later this month. The purpose of the HLS Preparatory Committee is to set the agenda for WSIS. (By "agenda," we mean the set of issues about which the participating governments will seek to set an action plan or articulate common principles). In class, each student will act as a WSIS delegate from his/her focus country, representing the government or a major national business or significant non-governmental organization (NGO) of your choice. Members of the faculty team will be playing a range of other roles during the PrepCom.

To prepare for class, take a good look at the WSIS website and the related websites and materials below. Bring to class a list of your top three priorities for the agenda of the WSIS, from the perspective of your particular country and sector. In building your list, you should consider the full range of issues that have been explored in class over the semester: the regulation of telecoms and Internet; VOIP and WiFi; universal access; smart mobs, weblogs, and hacktivism; spectrum policy; IP imperialism; political organizing; edge-vs.-hub battles; indigenous and traditional knowledge; e-democracy and e-politics; the ability to enforce content and speech controls; global media attention imbalances; and ICT entrepreneurship. What is most important for your country and sector? What problems are most imperative to address at the global level?

Be prepared to propose your ideas for treaties, trade agreements, new international institutions (or reforms of existing institutions), common declarations, or whatever outcomes you think should come out of WSIS.

Required Readings:

Review these websites:

Bill Thompson, "Who Cares about WSIS?" (3 October 2003)

David Dickson, "Can ICTs bring about development?" (Science and Development Network, 27 October 2003)

"UN tech summit looms with no agenda" (Associated Press, 7 November 2003)

Eli Noam, "Let Them Eat Megabits" (Financial Times, 26 November 2003)

Optional Background Materials:

WSIS documents and caucuses:

World Information Technology and Service Alliance, Building an Information Society: A Roadmap for the WSIS (November 2002)

UNCTAD E-Commerce and Development Report 2003 and UNCTAD Measuring ICT Website (Civil Society News Center for WSIS)

Sasha Costanza-Chock, WSIS, The Neoliberal Agenda, and Counterproposals from Civil Society (May 2003)