Fall 2007

Internet Controversies


Catherine C. McGeoch (Section 01)


This course is about how the growing ubiquity of the Internet forces us to reconsider traditional concepts like property, privacy, responsibility, and culpability. To learn what policies might be feasible (and infeasible), we will start by discussing some technical aspects of how the Internet works, considering transmission technologies, Internet protocols, web applications, and encryption. We will then consider legal and social controversies relating to property (copyright, open source, and music/media downloads); to privacy (spam, identity theft, insecure databases, the Patriot Act, and related laws); and to other problems such as law enforcement, behavior monitoring, and electronic voting. First semester. Professor C. McGeoch.