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Internet & Society: The Technologies and Politics of Control - Winter 2003

This course examines current legal, political, and technical struggles for control/ownership of the global Internet and its content. The course will draw upon a growing body of cyberlaw cases and commentary, class members' research, and participation by invited guests, including lobbyists, politicians, journalists, and scholars from the HLS faculty and elsewhere.

Course themes include the interaction between emerging Internet self-governance regimes and rule by traditional sovereigns; the expression of conflicting interests of commercial and individual Internet speakers/broadcasters; new modes of control over widely distributed intellectual property (privication); and the potential for market giants and other architects of Internet technologies to constrain behavior online in ways governments find difficult to assimilate. There are no technical or substantive prerequisites, but students should be prepared to use and experiment with new technologies as part of their coursework and participation. This will be a 3-credit course (2 classroom credits + 1 non-classroom credit). Students interested in writing their third-year paper in conjunction with this course should contact the instructor.