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Internet and Society: Technologies and Politics of Control

LSTU E–120 - Harvard Extension School - Spring 2012 - Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm EST

Berkman Center for Internet and Society - 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 24 Politics and Technology of Control: Introduction
Jan 31 Paradigms for Studying the Internet
Feb 7 Regulating Speech Online (Assignment 1 due)
Feb 14 New Economic Models
Feb 21 Peer Production and Collaboration (Assignment 2 due)
Feb 28 Copyright in Cyberspace
Mar 6 New and Old Media, Participation, and Information
Mar 13 No class - Spring Break
Mar 20 Collective Action and Decision-making (Assignment 3 due)
Mar 27 Internet and Democracy
Apr 3 Control and Code: Privacy Online
Apr 10 Internet and Democracy: The Sequel
Apr 17 Internet Infrastructure and Regulation (Assignment 4 due)
Apr 24 The Wikileaks Case
May 1 No class - final project preparation (Optional Extra Credit due)
May 8 Final class - wrap up and student presentations (Final Project due)

Course Information:

Assignments & Projects:




Participating During Class (Tuesdays 5:30-7:30 pm EST)

  • Attend in person at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St., Second Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138 (directions)

You can use Adobe Connect to participate during class time. Visit our Adobe Connect site and log in as guest.

We recommend that, if you would like to speak during class, you use a combination headphone/microphone to participate. Alternatively, you may use headphones along with your computer's built-in mic. As a last resort, you can use your computer's built-in mic without headphones, but please be aware that this may cause audio issues for both you and the class as a whole.

Note: When you log in to Adobe Connect, you will log in as a guest. Please use your full name or a pseudonym that will allow us to identify who you are so we can give you credit for your class participation.

  • If you have any trouble running Adobe Connect, please go to the support page on Adobe Connect's site or click on the "Help" button in the upper right corner of the Connect window.

Participating Asynchronously

  • The recorded videotapes of the class produced by Harvard Extension School are available here. Videos are typically available 1-2 days after class.

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.

Class Feedback

We'd love to hear your thoughts on how class is going! Please fill out this anonymous poll to let us know what you think.

REQUEST: Would you please keep the Assigned Readings and lectures live after the class dismisses today? I would like to come back to it again. Thanks! Harvard212 16:08, 8 May 2012 EST

Thank you for a great semester!!!! Mvalerio 20:50, 8 May 2012 (EDT)