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Internet and Society: Technologies and Politics of Control

LSTU E–120 - Harvard Law School Spring 2011 - Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm EST

Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University - 23 Everett Street - Conference room, 2nd floor

This course examines current legal, political, social, and technical struggles for control of the global Internet—and the content and relationships it conveys. The course focuses on the interaction of new technologies and services with emerging models of production, innovation, communication, learning, and civic engagement—looking at both the US and international contexts. Prerequisites: willingness to experiment with new technologies and to participate in class discussions, whether virtually or in person. (4 credits) continued...

Syllabus at a glance

Jan 25 Politics and Technology of Control: Introduction
Feb 1 Paradigms for Studying the Internet
Feb 8 New Economic Models (Assignment 1 due)
Feb 15 Peer Production and Collaboration
Feb 22 Collective Action and Decision-making (Assignment 2 due)
Mar 1 New and Old Media, Participation, and Information
Mar 8 Law's Role in Regulating Online Conduct and Speech
Mar 15 No class - Spring Break
Mar 22 Regulating Speech Online (Assignment 3 due)
Mar 29 Internet Infrastructure and Regulation
Apr 5 Copyright in Cyberspace
Apr 12 Control and Code: Privacy Online (Assignment 4 due)
Apr 19 Internet and Democracy
Apr 26 Internet and Democracy: The Sequel
May 3 Cybersecurity and Cyberwarfare
May 10 Final Project due (no class)

Course Information:

Assignments & Projects:




Contact Information

  • All questions, comments, etc. should be sent to:
    • There are no set office hours; feel free to send an email, and the TAs will respond to it as soon as they can.
  • If you need to contact an instructor or TA individually, please use their personal contact info located on the Staff Contact Info page.

Office Hours

Rebekah and Alex will be available for 15-minute calls or text chats in preparation for Assignment #4 (paper drafts).

  • Rebekah
    • Thursday March 31, 3:30pm - 5:00pm EDT (also available in person at 23 Everett)
    • Tuesday, April 5, 7:30-8:30pm EDT (immediately after class; available via phone/Skype/in person at 23 Everett)
    • Saturday, April 23, 2:30-4:00pm EDT (available via phone/Skype/chat)
    • Tuesday, April 26, 7:30-8:30pm EDT (immediately after class; available via phone/Skype/in person at 23 Everett)
  • Alex
    • Monday April 4, 5:00pm - 6:30pm EDT
    • Thursday, April 7, 5-6pm EDT
    • Monday, April 25, 5:00-6:30pm EDT

Email to schedule a meeting.

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