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Internet and Society: Technologies and Politics of Control

LSTU E–120 - Harvard Extension School - Spring 2011 - 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 25 Politics and Technology of Control: Introduction
Feb 1 Paradigms for Studying the Internet
Feb 8 New Economic Models ([Assignment_1_Details_and_Reporting 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 (Assignment 3 due)
Mar 15 No class - Spring Break
Mar 22 Regulating Speech Online
Mar 29 Internet Infrastructure and Regulation
Apr 5 Copyright in Cyberspace (Assignment 4 due)
Apr 12 Control and Code: Privacy Online
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:




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

  • Live Quicktime stream during class (open this URL in Quicktime Player):
    • rtsp://
    • The best option is generally to copy this URL into QuickTime Player
    • You can also watch via http ( This is typically not as clear.
  • You may also IM to Rob or David directly via gtalk (or jabber):

Participating Asynchronously

  • You can add your thoughts to the Question Tool even after class is over; we will leave up the discussions from class for the entire week following. Direct URL
  • Online Office Hours with the TAs: TBD