Law's Role in Regulating Online Conduct and Speech

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March 6

What is law's role in regulating online conduct and speech? At this point in the course you should be ready to tackle this question from a number of different perspectives. In this class we will begin to explore what role law is capable of playing as well as what role it should play. Remember John Perry Barlow's Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace which you read earlier in the course? Has his view of law's limited role been borne out? The sources of law impacting online conduct and speech are many, from intellectual property to tort to the First Amendment. Throughout today's class, we’ll tie the legal doctrines together with three themes:

  • How regulation changes when it’s carried out by computers, rather than by people.
  • Whether going online increases or decreases government control.
  • The new kinds of power possessed by online intermediaries.


Optional Readings

Videos Watched in Class

Class Discussion