This seminar offers an opportunity to rigorously examine the legal and policy challenges presented by the many private actors that make up the global "network of networks" known as the Internet. These intermediaries play an essential constitutive role in "cyberspace," serving as platforms for the creation and dissemination of information and facilitators of the exercise of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, access to knowledge and culture, participation in public and political debate, and democratic governance.
Although we will cover some general Internet law topics, the focus of this seminar will be on the roles and responsibilities of Internet intermediaries, including internet service providers (ISPs), search engines, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter. We will investigate the evolving nature of online architecture and activities, and the ways in which law has been, and can be, leveraged to influence Internet intermediaries as well as the benefits and drawbacks of other regulatory modalities such as markets, norms, and network/system architecture.
Course themes include the complex interaction between Internet governance organizations and sovereign states,
jurisdictional limitations, global conceptions of freedom of speech and intellectual property rights, as well as
the search for balance between the ease of disseminating information online and the interest of copyright holders, privacy advocates, and others in controlling that dissemination. We will also touch on i
ssues of cybersecurity, defamation, antitrust, and contract law.
Recommended: One or more of the following classes: Media Law, Privacy Law, Cybersecurity, Computer Crime, First Amendment, and Intellectual Property (particularly Copyright and International IP)