Politics and Technology of Control: Introduction

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The Net has great potential for “good” (e.g. innovation, economic growth, education, and access to information), and is likewise is a great platform for the bawdy, tawdry and illegal. Is this platform about fundamental social, political and economic change, or about easier access to pornography, cheap pharmaceuticals, free music and poker at home? This question leads us to a host of interesting issues that weave their way through the course related to openness, access, regulatory control, free speech, anonymity, intellectual property rights, democracy, transparency, norms and values, economic and cultural change and cyber-terrorism, as well as scamsters and thieves.


To get the discussion started, please come prepared to share three ways in which you think the Net is changing the world -- and provide examples (e.g. article, website). If you are not joining the class in person, please post your thoughts to the Question Tool (pick "InternetSociety2009") before class starts.


John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace

Chris Locke, Doc Searls & David Weinberger, Cluetrain Manifesto (just the manifesto)

Jack Goldsmith & Tim Wu, Digital Borders

Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet - Chapters 1 & 2

Videos Watched in Class

Class Discussion