Why does the Internet environment exist in the form it does today? What does its future, and the future of online life in general, look like? To what extent is this future malleable? Governments, corporate intermediaries, and hackers are empowered to different degrees by the space, and their interests and strengths are often in tension. This class uses academic as well as non-traditional texts to engender a broader understanding of Internet culture and technology, with an end focus on making informed choices about the future.
A Note about Reading:
The reading for this class will be anywhere between 30-100 pages per session. It will probably be helpful to read the selections in the order they appear in the syllabus, as some of the texts assume knowledge provided by the ones before them. Of course, inclusion of something in the syllabus should not be taken as an endorsement of its position or author. People are still wrong on the Internet.
Readings are subject to change. Material not available publicly online will be posted to the course iSite.
Class 1: Monday, January 30th: The Internet’s Past
- Internet History
- John Perry Barlow. “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace.”
- Johnny Ryan. “The Essence of the Net from A History of the Internet and the Digital Future.” Ars Technica.
- Who needs Cyberlaw?
- Lawrence Lessig. “The Law of the Horse.” Harvard Law Review.
Class 2: Monday, February 6th: Whatever Happened to Jurisdiction?
- Dow Jones v. Gutnick
- Jonathan Zittrain. Jurisdiction. pages 4-9, 47-54
- Felicity Barringer. “Internet Makes Dow Jones Open to Suit in Australia.” The New York Times.
- MegaUpload Indictment. Pp. 1-65.
- Nate Anderson. “Explainer: How can the US seize a ‘Hong Kong site’ like Megaupload?” Ars Technica.
Class 3: Monday, February 13th: Copyright and Free Speech
- Cancel-bots and Early Internet Speech
- Skim: Wikipedia article on Scientology and the Internet.
- Alan Prendergast. “Hunting Rabbits, Serving Spam: The Net Under Siege.”
- The Power of the Cease and Desist
- Peruse: Chilling Effects.
- Yochai Benkler. The Wealth of Networks. Pp. 225-233.
- Kim Zetter. “Diebold Loses Key Copyright Case.” Wired.
- Cease and Desist Demand, Trevor Eckhart.
- Andy Greenberg. Carrier IQ: A Case Study in the Streisand Effect Squared. Forbes.
Class 4: Thursday, February 23rd : Representing Ourselves Online
- Neal Stephenson. Snow Crash, (New York: Bantam Books, 1992), 35-44.
- Nicolas Ducheneaut, Ming-Hui “Don” Wen, Nicholas Yee, Greg Wadley. “Body and Mind: A Study of Avatar Personalization in Three Virtual Worlds.” CHI 2009. (Intro, Discussion, Conclusion)
- “City of Copies: Marvel. Vs. NC Soft.”
- Memorandum of Points and Authorities of Amici Curiae Legal and Cultural Studies Scholars in Support of Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- Social Networks
- Sherry Turkle. Alone Together. 181-199.
- “What Happens When you Deactivate Your Facebook Account.” ReadWriteWeb.
- Tim Carmody. “You Are Not Your Name and Photo: A Call to Reimagine Identity.“ Wired.
Class 5: Monday, February 27th: Defamation, Civility and Attribution
- The Wikipedia Biography Controversy and Section 230
- Legal Guide for Bloggers- Section 230 Protections. Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- Wikipedia Biography Controversy. Wikipedia.
- Reliability of Wikipedia, False Biographical Information. Wikipedia.
- Anonyminity and Pseudonymity
- Green Blackboards (And Other Anomalies). PennyArcade. WARNING: Language NSFW.
- Rachel Cooke and Aleks Krotoski. “Should Internet commentators use their real names?”Comment is free.
- Kee Hinkley. “On Pseudonymity, Privacy and Responsibility on Google+.” TechnoSocial.Published July 27th, 2011. Pgs. 1-16 (No longer available online, will distribute PDF.)
- Aaron E. Kornblum. “Searching for John Doe: Finding Spammers and Phishers.”
- David D. Clark, Susan Landau. “Untangling Attribution.”
Class 6: Monday, March 5th: Generativity
- Theories of Generativity
- Jonathan Zittrain. “Protecting the Internet Without Wrecking It.” Boston Review.
- Read one of the responses: Bruce M. Owen, Richard Stallman, Susan Crawford, David D. Clark, Roger A. Grimes, and Hal Varian. http://bostonreview.net/BR33.2/ndf_internet.php
- James Grimmelmann. “Applications and Applicances: A Conversation with Jonathan Zittrain.” The Laboratorium.
- What about Content?
- Brad Stone. “Amazon Erases Orwell Books from Kindle.” The New York Times.
- Mark Frauenfelder. “Bezos apologizes for Kindle 1984 memory hole blunder.” BoingBoing.
- Brian X. Chen. “iPad Apps Could Put Apple in Charge of the News.” Wired.
- Jon Brodkin. “The Right to dual-boot: Linux groups plead case prior to Windows 8 launch.” Ars Technica.
- Peter Bright. “Windows 8’s locked bootloaders: much ado about nothing, or the end of the world as we know it?” Ars Technica.
- Ed Bott. “Linux won’t be locked out of Windows 8 PCs, but FUD continues.” ZDNet.
Class 7: Monday, March 19th: DRM and Circumvention
- The Playing Field
- Fred Von Lohmann. “Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years under the DMCA.” Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- Mark Stefik. “Trusted Systems.” Scientific American. March, 1997.
- Decan McCullagah. “New Copyright Bill Heading to DC.” Wired.
- A Whole New World
- Adam Marcus. “3D Printing: The Future is Here.” The Technology Liberation Front.
- “It Will Be Awesome If They Don’t Screw It Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology.” Public Knowledge.
- “Gang Used 3D Printers for ATM Skimmers.” Krebs on Security.
- Nick Bilton. “Disruptions: The 3-D Printing Free-for-all.” The New York Times.
Class 8: Monday, March 26th: Crowdsourcing: Threat or Menace?
- Ernest Cline. Ready Player One. (New York: Crown, 2011), 1-36.
- John C. Tang, Manuel Cebrian, Nicklaus A. Giacobe, Hyun-Woo Kim, Taemie Kim, and Douglas “Beaker” Wickert. “Reflecting on the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge,” Communications of the ACM 54 (4). (2011).
- Jonathan Zittrain. COG. Publication forthcoming. 1-5.
- Brian Caulfield. “Turkish Delight.” Forbes.com.
- “Internet Eyes, Fighting Crime from Home: Transcript.” On the Media.
- Skim: “Ask HN: Are Freelancer sites (e.g. Odesk, Elance) useless?” Hacker News.
Class 9: Monday, April 2nd: Gamification is…
- The Devil
- The Answer to Society’s Problems
- The Cures of Cow Clicker: How a Cheeky Satire Became a Videogame Hit. Wired.
- The Future is A Grind. Post-Hype.
- Jane McGonigal. Reality is Broken. pgs. 53-79.
- Peter Bright. “Microsoft keeps it old-schools with a pricey text adventure game, Visual Studio 2010.” Ars Technica.
Class 10: Monday, April 9th: Regulation, Governance and The Internet’s Future
- Short Term
- Eliza Krigman. “Next battle over Net ramps up worldwide.” Politico.
- Julian Sanchez. “Internet Regulation & the Economics of Piracy.” Cato@Liberty. http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/internet-regulation-the-economics-of-piracy/
- Ian Shapira. “Obama administration joins critics of US nonprofit group that oversees Internet.” The Washington Post.
- Medium Term
- Charles Stross. “USENIX 2011 Keynote: Network Security in the Medium Term, 2061 – 2561 AD.” Charlie’s Diary.