The Internet and the State

Part I: What is the Internet?

1. Introduction

Reading

  1. Findings of fact in ACLU v. Reno, 929 F. Supp. 824 (E.D.Pa. 1996)
  2. Michael Froomkin, An Introduction to the "Governance" of the Internet

Things to do:

  1. Read the class policies
  2. Subscribe to the class mailing listNote: the computer dept. has disabled the  web-based signup.  Until we figure out what to do about that, using the internet account that you want to have receive mail from the list, click here.
  3. Figure out how to make your e-mail program automatically attach a "signature block" or ".sig" to each of your messages. Please ensure that you sign your name to all but intentionally anonymous postings to the class list. Please if you can, have the program include the "signature" in the text of the email rather than as a v-card, an attachment, or anything else that isn't easily visible by ever e-mail program out there.  I use PINE, in some ways a very old-fashioned program, because it is utterly virus-proof, but PINE doesn't handle attachments especially nicely.
  4. Send me an email (not to the list!) in which you tell me about a paragraph's worth about yourself. Please also include your day & evening phone numbers and both e-mail and relatively lasting postal mail addresses for my files. Your email should demonstrate your mastery of the "signature block" above.

2. Some background on Internet Tech

Reading

  1. Read either CNET's HTML for Beginners (including all nine linked pages) or NC States' HTML Basics.

Doing

  1. Go to the Internet Skills Page and do at least two things from each of the first four categories.

Optional

  1. B. Carpenter, RFC 1985, Architectural Principles of the Internet (1996)
  2. R. Rader, Domain Name and Related Definitions (May, 2001)

Very optional

  1. S. Christey, RFC 2795, The Infinite Monkey Protocol Suite (IMPS)
  2. D. Waitzman, RFC 2549, IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service (updates RFC 1149)

3. "Nettiquette" and other Informal Rules

Reading

  1. S. Hambridge, RFC 1855: Nettiquette Guidelines (October 1995)
  2. 1267623 Ontario Inc v. Codes Communications, Inc., [1999] OJ No. 2246 (Ontario Superior Court of Justice, June 14, 1999)
  3. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, Pimps and Dragons (May 28, 2001) (NOTE: Notice anything odd about the URL for this article? Besides the fact it doesn't work anymore, I mean.... Try THIS LINK instead)
  4. Keith Regan, E-Commerce Times, Report: Four Web Sites Control Half of Surfing Time (June 04, 2001)
  5. Reed Abelson, New York Times, By the Water Cooler in Cyberspace, the Talk Turns Ugly (April 29, 2001)
  6. T.R. Reid, Washington Post, Thanks for Last Night! (cc: The Entire World) (Dec. 18, 2000)
  7. Michelle Delio, Wired.com, Eudora Retards Flames (Sep. 12, 2000)
  8. Michael Singer, Are You Reading Your Kid's E-Mail? (May 16, 2001)
  9. Joseph Reagle, Why the Internet is Good: Community governance that works well.(1998).  The five numbered Appendices are optional, but please do read the Internet Quotation Appendix .

Thinking

  1. How would you go about writing an "acceptable use of the Internet" policy for a law school? For a  client's organization?
  2. Are there any limits on the ability of a firm, a law school, or an internet service provider (ISP) to impose conditions on users of its computers?
  3. Many people say that this is the key to understanding the Internet.  Do you agree?

Doing

  1. I presume that, as future lawyers, you have already read the acceptable use policies that apply to you as UM students. After all, violating them is a serious offense.  But just in case you have not, here is the UM Law Computer Use Policy.  Can you find the University's internet use policies?  How many are there?  Which one(s) apply to law students?  In case of conflict with the law school's policy, which one controls?

Optional

  1. Eudora.com, Eurdora's introduction to MoodWatch
  2. David Kaufer, Flaming: A White Paper (June 2000)
  3. Roger Clarke's compilation of NET-ETHIQUETTE: Mini Case Studies of Dysfunctional Human Behaviour on the Net [Follow some of the great links]
  4. Katharine Mieszkowski, Salon.com, Candy From Strangers (Aug. 13, 2001)

4. The Big Picture (pt. 1)

Reading

  1. Froomkin, The Internet as a Source of Regulatory Arbitrage (book chapter) in BORDERS IN CYBERSPACE (Brian Kahin and Charles Nesson, eds.) (MIT Press, 1997) §§ I(D)&(E), II, II§ VI.
  2. Cyberspace Regulation and the Discourse of State Sovereignty, Developments -- The Law of Cyberspace, 112 Harv. L. Rev. 1574, 1680-1697 (1999).
  3. Jerry Kang, Cyber-race, 113 Harv. L. Rev. 1130 (2000) (.pdf)  Introductin & §§ II, V, VI & Conclusion
  4. Dick Kelsey, Newsbytes, Site Warns Of New Neighbors Who Are Sex Offenders (June 13, 2001)
  5. David Post, Brave New Classroom, or, Who IS Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1998)

Thinking

  1. How critical is the presentation of self in everyday life?  What does it affect?  How much of that could the Internet change?
  2. Are sites such as Ratingsonline.com or RatemyProfessors.com a public service, an amusing diversion, an invitation to libel, a snare and delusion, or all of the above?
  3. Anything to worry about in student outlines online or law school application essays online?
  4. Is the Internet "fraud's paradise"?  Would a scam like this work without the net?
  5. Why don't we see more 'regulatory arbitrage' everywhere?  Is there something wrong with the theory? Is this plausible?

Optional

  1. Tim May, CryptoAnarchy and Virtual Communities
  2. Lucy Sheriff, The Register, Burgler.com is Illegal, coppers claim (Oct. 10, 2000)
  3. Kade Twist, Making the Internet Indian
  4. Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, A Study Finds that Web Users are More Tolerant Than Non-Users (June 15, 2001)
  5. Michael Zielenziger, In Philipenes, Net is divine
  6. New York Times, The Long and Winding Cyberhoax: Political Theater on the Web (Jan. 7, 2001)
  7. SEC v. Donald Allen English (E-biz) (complaint)

  8.  

Updates

  • Reuters, Afghanistan's Taliban Bans Internet (July 13, 2001)
  • 5. The Big Picture (pt. 2)

    Reading

    1. Phil Agre, Information technology in the political process
    2. Yochai Benkler, Net Regulation: Taking Stock and Looking Forward, 71 Colorado Law Rev. 331 (2000); older version online at SSRN . Introduction, §§ II, III, Conclusion
    3. James Glanz, New York Times, The Web as Dictator of Scientific Fashion (June 19, 2001)
    4. Lucas D. Introa & Helen Nissenbaum, 16 The Information Society 169, Shaping the Web: Why the Politics of Search Engines Matters (2000)
    5. Scott Rosenberg, Salon, Assimilating the Web (June 26, 2001)

    Thinking

    1. What kinds of unique issues, if any, do you think the Internet poses for legislators?
    2. Some issues easily can be regulated by engineering choices, or by market structure.  Should this concern us?

    Optional

    1. Phil Agre, The Internet and Public Discourse
    2. Phil Agre, The end of information and the future of libraries.
    3. John Seely Brown & Paul Duguid, The Social Life of Information
    4. Lisa Guernsey, Mining the 'Deep Web' With Specialized Drills (Jan. 25, 2001)
    5. People For Internet Responsibility (PIFR), DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES (July 4, 2001)
    To Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5
    To Syllabus Index
    To Class Policies

    Last updated: Aug. 27, 2001