SIE 525: Lectures and Assignments

SIE 525 Information Systems Law

I. Texts
II. Articles and Supplementary Materials
III. Schedule of Lectures and Assignments
IV. Class Process, Delivery of Assignments and Grading
V. Module Assignments



I. Texts

You will read selected chapters out of several texts for this course. You should purchase the second book and potentially the third book but the first text and the remainder of the course materials are openly available online.

Book 1. Cyberlaw Online Compendium (free)
Compilation from primarily BitLaw (created by Daniel A. Tysver – http://www.bitlaw.com), Wikipedia, and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
A primer covering basic cyberlaw issues from traditional or conventional legal perspectives.

Book 2: Internet Law: Cases and Problems
James Grimmelmann (Aug 2016 version – download for $30 suggested price  at http://semaphorepress.com/InternetLaw_overview.html)

Book 3: Information Privacy Fundamentals for Librarians and Information Professionals
Cherie L. Givens (recommend purchase but also available in Fogler Library at Reserve Desk)

II. Articles and Supplementary Materials

See Course Material Backups – chickenSoup


III. Approximate Schedule of Lectures and Assignments

Videos for class sessions below will become at the Blackboard site under Class Sessions Video Archive.

Wk Day Date
Topic
Book Reading Assignments*
Extra Assignments
Module
 1 Tu Jan 23 Introductory Materials  [1SlidesInro]


Th Jan 25 (continued) Book 2: Intro (pp.9-13) & Chap 1
Module A
2 Tu Jan 30
Liability [2SlidesLiability]
Book 1: Ch 34 &37 Read Liability in Use of GIS
Module B

Th Feb 1 Jurisdiction and the Internet [3SlidesJurisdiction]
Book 2: Ch 2, pp. 51-83
Extra credit: Zittrain video
Module C
3  Tu Feb 6
Jurisdiction and the Internet
Book 2: Ch 2, pp. 84-120
Module D
Th Feb 8
Intellectual Property Basics  [4SlidesIPBasics]
Book 1: Ch 1-8 (pp. 3-15), Book 2: pp. 429-431, Optional-Book 2, pp. 431-502

Intellectual Property: The Basics, by Caseiro (see Backups – chickenSoup)

Module E

 

4  Tu Feb 13
Copyright (continued) & Licenses

Book 1: Ch 9-11 (pp. 15-21), Book 2: pp. 446-466

Module F
Th Feb 15
Patents
Book 1: Ch12-18 (pp.22-30)
Module G
5  Tu Feb 20
Patents
Book 1: Ch 18-22 (pp.30-38)
Module H
 
Th Feb 22
Trademarks
Book 1: Ch 23-31 & Ch 35 (pp.39-51 & 58-60) Term Paper Assigned or Midterm Exam
Module I
6  Tu Feb 27 Trade Secret

Book 1: Ch 38-40 (pp.67-69)

Module J
Th Mar 1
Website Development Issues Book 1: Ch 32-33 & 36 (pp.53-55 & 60-63), Book 2: Ch 6 (pp. 412 – 418)
Module K
7  Tu Mar 6
Public Information: National [7SlidesFOIA] [8SlidesBorders]
Read Weiss summary or Pluijmers/Weiss Borders in Cyberspace
Module L
Th Mar 8
Public Information: State and Local [9SlidesLocalGvnmnt]
Read Ten Ways, GITA Whitepaper and NSGIC Data Sharing Guide
Module M

Spring Break (March 12 – March 16)
 –
 –
 8  Tu Mar 20
Open Access to Research Data [6aaSlidesCreativeCommons] 

Read Legal Approaches for Open Access to Research Data (pp.1-21) (see Backups – chickenSoup)
Module N
Th Mar 22
Open Access to Research Data [5SlidesDatabase]

Same reference as above – (pp.21-31, 37-41)
Module O

 

 9 Tu Mar 27
Self-Help Protections Methods Same reference as above – (pp.31-37, 41-44)
Module P
Th Mar 29
Contracts
Book 2: Ch 5 (pp. 337, 344 – 352)
Module Y
 10  Tu Apr 3
Controlling Private Power: Antitrust and Network Neutrality
Book 2: Ch 9 (pp. 571-573, 586- 587, 587, 611-625)
Module Q
Th Apr 5
Free Speech [10SlidesFreeSpeech]
 Book 2: Ch 9 (pp. 557, 561 – 570)  ACLU Briefing Paper
Module R
 11  Tu Apr 10
Free Speech View The Corporation if possible or see Corp Free Speech Debate Module S
Th Apr 12
Ethics [11SlidesEthics]


Implementing G I Technologies Ethically Module T
12  Tu Apr 17
Privacy[new slides tba] [12SlidesPrivacy] Book 3: Ch 3 &/or 2 Data Protection in the United States: Overview Module U
  Th Apr 19
Privacy [25ProtectingIndPrivacy]   Privacy in Our Digital Lives, Wired Article on NSA (or see Backups) Module V
13 Tu Apr 24
Electronic Evidentiary Admissibility & Expert Testimony [15SlidesEvidence]

 

Evidence from GIS , Mobile Device Evidence & Scientific Evidence by Borenstein or excerpts of Beecher-Monas Module W
  Th Apr 26
Security, Encryption, and Management Issues [16SlidesSecurity] Strategic Primer – Cyber Security and Mapping the Risks (Rand)
Module X
14  Tu May 1
Developing Nation Perspectives [17SlidesDvlpngCntries]
Integrating IP & Development Policy
Module Z
  Th May 3
Review  
 15   May 7
Final Exam Week
Final Exam


IV. Class Process and Assignments

1. Post Your Regular Module Responses in Blackboard: Each module assignment below requires each student to respond to all of the questions posed and post the responses in the Blackboard folder by the day and time indicated. That is, posting is required by both on-campus and on-line students prior to the on-campus class period in which the material will be discussed. Label each and every posting with your last name followed by the module number (e.g. Smith – Module A). Within your submission list the entire question before providing your response for each question (e.g. A1, A2, etc.). See item D under the Overview for the Delivery of Module Assignments to Blackboard.

Be concise yet thoughtful and use complete sentences. In some instances a several paragraph response to a question may be appropriate. In other instances, a hundred-words question response may be adequate. You will be able to see compiled responses from all students posted by the instructor on the morning of the days when we meet. See also the Module Formatting Instructions

2. Moderator Responsibilities (applies only to on-campus students): Each student, whether on-campus or at a distance, is assigned to moderate the class discussion for one or more modules. You should read all of your peers’ responses prior to class and be familiar with them. You may be given anywhere from 0 minutes to 75 minutes to discuss the questions depending on other ground to be covered during the class period. As moderator your role is not to give a lecture on what you or other people have stated in their written responses but to engage all other members of class to the extent possible in a discussion of their responses and affiliated issues raised in the readings. In some instances you may have time to call on only two or three classmates to discuss their responses but certainly your goal should be to engage as many classmates as possible. Be ready to ask further questions of your peers on the material if the discussion lags.
Editor Responsibilities: <NOT GERMANE IN SPRING 2018> After your moderator session you will summarize in writing the discussion of the module. Each editor will publish a short summary (no more than one page or 500 words per question, whichever is shorter) that describes the essence of our class discussion findings and conclusions for each question. This summary should address issues raised in the initial student written responses as well as in the face-to-face discussions. I highly recommend that you prepare this summary immediately after the session you moderate. If you have a co-editor you may work together or split up the questions. The summaries are due on April xx so that these summaries may be used to review the course during our last class session. Post your class summary as follows: <your last name> – SUMMARY OF MODULE <xx>.

3. EXTRA CREDIT: Book Review Assignment (applies to all students): Read an additional book during the semester from an instructor suggested list (or you nominate another). After the selection has been approved by the instructor, read the book and then write a  summary and review paper on the book that concludes with your own reflections on the issues raised in the book. See the Book Review Instructions The paper is due on or prior to May 4.

4. Personal Module Compilation: Your module compilation consists of all of your personal module assignment responses prepared and submitted throughout the semester accumulated into a single document. I suggest that you keep a running Word, rtf, or similar document adding on your submissions as we proceed through the semester. Responses to all modules must be included even if you miss responding on time for a specific class due to illness or otherwise. You may want to review and edit your modules prior to final submission at the end of the semester by considering also the insights supplied by the class discussion but no module question response should exceed 500 words or a single page, whichever is shorter. The compilation is due on May 3 and should be posted as follows: <your last name> – SIE 525 Module Compilation

 



V. Module Assignments
Module Formatting Instructions

Module A – Introduction
Moderator/Editor: Harlan Onsrud

Assignment: Read Book 2: Introduction (pp.9-13) and Ch 1
The critical questions are:
A-1 After reviewing the syllabus and considering your own career aspirations, which information systems law issue do you think is most critical for you to understand thoroughly by the end of the course?
A-2 Describe some technical aspect of the Internet of which you were unaware of prior to reading Chapter 1 of Book 2 or describe some aspect that was particularly innovative when developed.
A-3 Briefly summarize the core theory espoused in the piece included from Lawrence Lessig or the piece from Jonathan Zittrain.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Jan 24

Module B – Liability
Moderator/Editor: Chris Hillier

Assignment: Read Liability in Use of GIS
The critical questions are:
B-1 Considering the article on Liability in the Use of GIS, how can you best minimize your liability exposure in the future in your delivery of information software, products and services to others?
B-2 Under what circumstances should you be held responsible for damages to others if they are led astray by inaccurate or incomplete digital information that you provided?
B-3 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you would most like to discuss with the rest of the class. (Including the liability chapters from Book 1).
B-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Jan 23. (Note: Normally the question would be contained somewhere in the referenced video but in this case just answer the following: In Book 1 Chapter 37, which of the discussed copyright infringement web linking scenarios do you think is most problematic and why?).
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Jan 29

Module C – Jurisdiction 1
Moderator/Editor: Sai Katta
Assignment: Book 2: Ch 2,pp. 51-83; Extra Credit: View Jonathan Zittrain Video starting at 13 minutes in at http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/298188_Be_Careful_What_You_Ask_For_
The critical questions are:
C-1 Under Section A of Chapter 2, select one of the short essays at the beginning of the chapter (see pp.51-61 or p.67) and respond to at least two of the questions at the end of the essay. Note: Begin your response with the title of the piece, the author, and then each question to which you are responding.
C-2 Under Section B of Chapter 2, respond briefly to the questions on p. 75.
C-3 Extra Credit: Raise and reflect on one or more additional questions or issues related to the Zittrain video that you would like most to discuss with the rest of the class.
C-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Jan 25.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Jan 31

Module D – Jurisdiction 2
Moderator/Editor: Brendan O’Neil
Assignment: Book 2: Ch 2,pp. 84-120
The critical questions are:
(p.84-91)
D-1. Does Equustek do an appropriate job of balancing domestic concerns with the interests of other countries and their residents?
D-2. Would an injunction limited to searches from Canadian IP addresses be broader or narrower than one limited to google.ca? Would it be easier or harder for Google to implement? Would it be more or less respectful of oth- er jurisdictions?
D-3. Equustek shows how search engines are a potential point of control for en- forcing laws online. Are there others? The Stop Online Piracy Act, intro- duced in the House in 2011, but dropped by its sponsors in the face of mas- sive online and offline protests in early 2012, would have increased copy- right enforcement by allowing injunctions against search engines, payment networks, advertising platforms, and domain-name servers, requiring them to cut off service to specific identified “foreign infringing sites.” What could these entities do to reduce infringement? Are there risks to this kind of en- forcement strategy? Why did online activists argue that SOPA would “break the Internet?”
(pp. 92-93)
D-4 Does the availability of extradition extend countries’ legal reach? How does it affect the global nature of the Internet?
(pp. 93-96)
D-5 Initially, the Yahoo! litigation sounds familiar, pitting United States free- speech values versus French hate-speech laws. Why is it culturally important to France to prohibit trafficking in Nazi memorabilia? Can you think of any material that would be clearly offensive in the United States but considered innocuous in other countries?
D-6. When Cyril Houri enters the picture and starts talking about geolocation, the story takes a surprising turn. What is geolocation and why does it work? Why did it help persuade Judge Gomez to rule against Yahoo!? What other uses does it have?
D-7. How important is the location of Yahoo!’s servers in this story? How important is the location of Yahoo!’s various offices?
D-8. This brings us to the central theoretical point that Goldsmith and Wu make: the Internet is becoming “bordered” rather than “borderless.” What does that mean? How will the Internet in the United States differ from the Internet in France? Have you personally seen examples of the bordered Internet?
D-9. Distance Students Only: There is no additional further critical question for this module.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Feb 5

Module E – Intellectual Property Basics
Moderator/Editor: Lakshmi Thubati
Assignment: (a) Intellectual Property: The Basics, by Caseiro (see FirstClass Course Info folder) Note: Another primer on just U.S. copyright is at https://copyright.columbia.edu/basics/copyright-quick-guide.html. If you desire to compare and contrast some intellectual property law basics from other countries, see Australia http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au and Canada http://cipo.ic.gc.ca
(b) Book 1: pp. 3-15,
(c) Book 2: pp. 429-431, Optional: pp. 431-502

The critical questions are:
E-1 Read “Intellectual Property: The Basics” by Chris Caseiro. (If you prefer viewing a series of short videos for your primer, check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQOJgEA5e1k) Explain the primary differences between the protections offered by trademark, copyright, patent and trade secret. Discuss one or more things you learned or thought was interesting.
E-2 Discuss one or more additional things about Copyright you learned or thought was interesting  from Book 1, pp.3-15.
E-3 Discuss one or more additional things about Copyright you learned or thought was interesting from Book 2, pp.429-431 or through p. 502.
E-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Feb 1.
Extras: Popular Videos Critiquing Aspects of U.S. Copyright Law include – Copyright: Forever Plus One Day https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk862BbjWx4 (more on Disney at https://priceonomics.com/how-mickey-mouse-evades-the-public-domain/) and Copyright Explained in Five Minutes or Lesshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-wx6kLFaZ8 and many others.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Feb 7

Module F – Copyright
Moderator/Editor: Stacey Tsultsumova
Assignment: Book 1: pp. 8-10, pp. 15-21, Book 2: pp. 446-466 (Optional: pp. 467-480 on Fair Use)
The critical questions are:
F-1 What ownership assumptions should one make when copying material off of the Internet? Do the assumptions of the law comport with what studies show or what you think are efficient for the economy and the well being of society generally?
F-2 U.S. Fair Use Law: Numerous graphics and photos were used in the comic book book titled Bound by Law? by Aoki, Boyle and Jenkins found at http://www.thepublicdomain.org/comic/. This material was used without asking permission of authors or publishers of the original works. Is this legal? Why? Is this ethical? Why?
F-3 For one attempt by a community to define “fair use” in relation to classes of media, see Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use at http://cmsimpact.org/code/documentary-filmmakers-statement-of-best-practices-in-fair-use/ Are such community attempts at setting standards likely to be considered seriously by the courts?
F-4 Read the Take Down notice example at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_Copyright_Infringement_Liability_Limitation_Act. Does this seem like a reasonable procedure? Why is the recording industry trying to legislate something stronger?
F-5 Read Book 2, pp.446-447 and then read the material on one of the following cases on licensing copyrighted material: Field v. Google, Vernor v. Autodesk or Jacobsen v. Katzer. Choose one of the questions following the case you chose and answer the question. Include in your response submitted to FirstClass the name of the case, the text of the selected question, and your analysis.
F-6 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Feb 6.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Feb 12

Module G – Patents 1
Moderator/Editor: Chris Hillier
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 12-18 (pp. 22-30)
The critical questions are:
G-1 List the four major requirements that make an invention patentable and briefly describe each requirement.
G-2 What are the rights granted under a patent?
G-3 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Feb 8. Note: Class ran out of time and questions was not recorded. So question is: G-3. What is the purpose of a design patent? What is its term? Describe a technological design instance where a company might find such a patent to be useful.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Feb 14

Module H – Patents 2
Moderator/Editor: Sai Katta
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 19-22 (pp. 31-38)
The critical questions are:
H-1 Can the functional design of an innovative new mousetrap be protected though a design patent? Why? Where are design patents most likely to arise in the information technology industry?
H-2 If you wanted to file for a patent for a novel invention in the US and in several additional nations, what are considerations you might want to address in the timing of those applications?
H-3 Consult http://www.bitlaw.com/software-patent/index.html Under what conditions is software patentable in the US? Many countries reject the patentability of software. From your perspective should software be patentable? Why?
H-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Feb 13.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Feb 19

Module I – Trademarks
Moderator/Editor: Brendan O’Neil
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 23-31 & Ch 35 (pp.39-51 & 58-60)
The critical questions are:
I-1 Discuss the strength of the term Burger King in its use for identifying a fast food restaurant chain. Was this a good choice for naming the restaurant chain?
I-2 Make up a name for augmented reality eye glasses that your company has just developed and wants to trademark. How would you determine if another company might already use the name for eye wear or headgear and thereby possesses a common law trademark potentially affecting or causing potential confusion with your product?
I-3 Name the three benefits of federal trademark registration that you believe would be the most important for your innovative augmented reality glasses.
I-4 I advertise my apples from my orchard as “the best tasting apples in the world” and “genetically engineered for long shelf life, resistance to cold, heat and insect damage, perfect texture, and the best tasting apple you will ever eat.” I protect the genetic makeup of my apples by trade secret rather than patent. If I have a federally registered trademark in the name of Onsrud for my apple orchard business, what would be the strength of my case for trademark dilution  against Apple Computers if that company started selling a new line of Onsrud computers? I claim that while such a practice may be fine for McIntosh Apple computers, it is not fine for Onsrud Apple computers.
I-5 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Feb 15. Note: No question hidden in video and no additional required on trademarks.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Feb 21

Module J – Trade Secrets
Moderator/Editor: Lakshmi Thubati
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 38-40 (pp.67-69)
The critical questions are:
J-1 Name the three factors included in most definitions of a trade secret
J-2 What are the primary benefits of protection through trade secret as opposed to copyright or patent? How would you go about securing the protection?
J-3 What are primary drawbacks or limitations of protection through trade secret as opposed to copyright or patent?
J-4 Read the summary discussion about the Uniform Trade Secrets Act at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Trade_Secrets_Act. What is its primary goal and in how many states has it been enacted? Does this mean that Trade Secret law is as a result now defined in these states primarily through precedents established by the federal courts rather than state courts?
J-5 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Feb 20.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Feb 26

Module K – Web Site Legal Issues
Moderator/Editor: Stacey Tsultsumova
Assignment: Book 1: Ch 32-33 & 36 (pp.53-55 & 60-63), Book 2: Ch 6 (pp. 412 – 418)
The critical questions are:
K-1 What are the five major categories of legal concerns, as listed by the author, that arise when developing a website ? Without being familiar with this material, which legal constraints or concerns might persons most likely  breach unknowingly when developing their own website?
K-2 Assuming that you are involved in a dispute over a domain name whereby another U.S. company is trying to force your small firm to give up a domain name, would you rather have the dispute resolved through the U.S. court system or through ICANN’s Uniform Domain Dispute Resolution Policy (pp. 416-418) and why?
K-3 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Feb 22.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on Feb 28

Module L – Freedom of Information in Government Public Records
Moderator/Editor: Chris Hillier
Assignment: Weiss summary or Pluijmers/Weiss Borders in Cyberspace, Read the Introduction, Chapter 1 and the final sections of Borders in Cyberspace. The report arrives at conclusions and recommendations regarding government public access policies. Assess these results and recommendations.
The critical questions are:
L-1 To what extent are the “conclusions” supportable by the evidence? Do they make sense?
L-2 Are the “recommendations” supportable in terms of good public policy? Why?
L-3 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of Feb 27.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on March 5

Module M – Access to State Local Government Records
Moderator/Editor: Sai Katta
Assignment: Ten Ways, GITA Whitepaper and NSGIC Data Sharing Guide
The critical questions are:
M-1 To what extent should the laws governing access to and use of federal agency digital records also apply to state and local government digital records? Why?
M-2 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of March 1.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on March 7

Module N – Open Access Concepts
Moderator/Editor: Brendan O’Neil
Assignment: Legal Approaches for Open Access to Research Data (pp. 1-21) See Backups – chickenSoup
The critical questions are:
N-1 In the list of definitions as used in the article, why are facts distinguished from data and datasets?
N-2 Describe the differences between the status of data being in the commons, open commons and public domain.
N-3 If a dataset is advertised and offered as being legally interoperable using the definition in this article, does that mean that the dataset may not be sold by the owner but only freely shared? Why?
N-4 The challenges of enforcing copyright controls over downstream uses of data in international contexts are discussed on pp. 14-21. Reflect on something you learned or found of most interest in this material.
N-5 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of March 6.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on March 19

Module O – Database Rights & Government Removal of IP Restrictions
Moderator/Editor: Lakshmi Thubati
Assignment: Legal Approaches for Open Access to Research Data (pp. 21-31, 37-41) See Backups – chickenSoup
The critical questions are:
O-1 Assume that the business you own gathers data from across the web and from other multiple sources and then offers an online service that generates results or answers by querying that data. You charge customers a high per use fee or lower monthly fee for your service. Would you prefer setting up this service in a jurisdiction with sui generis database rights protections? Why or why not?
O-2 The articles lists several mechanisms by which governments may remove intellectual property rights controlling the use of research data. (i.e. see Sections 3.1.1, 3.1.2 and 3.1.3). Choose one of the mechanisms and describe the challenges for a government in its implementation as compared to the other described methods.
O-3 The authors Conclusions and Recommendations concerning Legal Mechanisms that Promote Open Access and Legal Interoperability are stated in Section 4 (pp.37-42). Which of the legal mechanisms suggested in Table 1 are you most likely to be able to implement as an individual during your career? Do you envision yourself doing so and why?
O-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of March 8.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on March 21

Module P – Self-Help Approaches
Moderator/Editor: Stacey Tsultsumova
Assignment: Legal Approaches for Open Access to Research Data. (See Backups – chickenSoup): pp.1-21)
The critical questions are:
P-1 The Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) is the most widely used and recommended by the academic community of all the CC Licenses. Why do the authors NOT recommend its use with research data?
P-2 The authors provide minimum recommendations for open access research repositories in Section 4.2. What additional recommendations might you recommend or what edits might you suggest for these recommendations?
P-3 As a student completing a graduate research project at the University of Maine where you have compiled substantial data supporting your research, where would you archive the research data such that the data would be linked from your published electronic thesis, the data likely would still be there in 50 years, and others could efficiently find it through universal web searches and through metadata searches? Would students, faculty and other university researchers benefit from the facility recommended in Section 4.3?
P-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of March 20. [FAILED RECORDING SO DO THIS: P-4. Describe one additional self-help approach for protecting software or data that you might be creating and describe benefits and drawbacks of this particular approach.]
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on March 26

Module Y – Contracts and Access to Computers
Moderator/Editor: Lakshmi Thubati
Assignment:Book 2: Ch 5 (pp. 337, 344 – 352)
The critical questions are:
Y-1 In assessing Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., do you believe the results of the se are rational and fair? Why or why not? Does clicking on a web agreement indicate informed consent on the part of the user or merely indicate actual notice of the terms of use? Suggest a contractual arrangement under which informed consent might be legally required.
Y-2 In assessing the Smurfberry Problem, Lois Griffin affirmatively clicked “I agree” to the contract language. Do you believe she should be held legally accountable for the expenses incurred? If not, on what legal basis should she be able to avoid the contract?
Y-3. In assessing ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg (question 2), should contract law be able to restrict use of listings where copyright law would not restrict use of such listings? Why or why not?
Y-4.In assessing ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg (question 3) is the affirmative volitional act of opening a book subject to readily evident notice conditions able to bind you legally in a manner similar to a clickwrap agreement? If not, what is the substantive difference between the two fact situations?
Y-5 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of March 22 (NO added question due to rearrangement).
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on March 28

Module Q – Controlling Private Power
Moderator/Editor: Chris Hillier
Assignment: Book 2: Ch 9 (pp. 571-573, 586-587, 587, 611-625)
The critical questions are:
Q-1 Antitrust: What is the basis for or what are the potential arguments that Google is violating Section 2 of the Sherman Act? What are the arguments that it is not violating the Act?
Q-2 Net Neutrality (p. 587): The most recent formal statement of Federal Communication Commission (FCC) on protecting and promoting the open internet (pp.611-620) is critiqued by dissenting Commissioner Ajit Pai (pp. 620-624). Which arguments are more convincing to you and why?
Q-3 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of March 27.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 2

Module R – Free Speech
Moderator/Editor: Sai Katta
Assignment: ACLU Briefing Paper and Book 2: Ch 9 (pp. 557, 561 – 570)
The critical questions are:
R-1 From the ACLU Briefing Paper, list three key ideas or points relative to free speech on the Internet that you think are important.
R-2 Chapter 9 of Book 2 asks, if a private Internet Service Provider (ISP) abuses its position, what can its users or the government do about it? In the case of Zhang vs. Baidu.com Inc, the argument is made that the U.S. Constitutional First Amendment right of free speech fully immunizes search-engine results from  most, if not all, kinds of civil liability and government regulation in the U.S. Thus it protects the rights of Baidu (the leading Chinese search engine company) to advocate for systems of government other than democracy (in China or elsewhere). Are Baidu’s editorial policies good for users or bad for users? If you don’t like the company’s policies what are your alternatives for finding the information you desire? Should search engines that rank websites be required to disclose how they rank web sites?
R-3 No one who has merely received classified information and distributed it, such as a news organization, has been successfully prosecuted under the U.S. Espionage Act of 1917. Why not? Why hasn’t new legislation been enacted to make it easier to close down operations like Wikileaks?
R-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of March 29.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 4

Module S – Free Speech
Moderator/Editor: Brendan O’Neil
Assignment: View The Corporation if possible (previously free on web but now available thru various pay per view outlets; e.g. $4 on Prime Video – Note: back on YouTube for free in April  2018 or search for generally) or see Corp Free Speech Debate
The critical questions are:
S-1 If we allow great deference to free speech on the Internet, what are the best means for controlling bad behavior (e.g. spam, obscene material, defamation, scams)?
S-2 What are the arguments for and against interpreting the bill of rights such that corporations are able to take advantage of constitutional free speech rights?
S-3 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of April 3. [[The Corporation movie is back on YouTube for free. List three of the most poignant points made by CEOs, economists, legal scholars or government officials in the movie. Identify who made each comment, and state why you believe each of your highlighted statements is important or intriguing.]]
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 9

Module T – Ethics
Moderator/Editor: Lakshmi Thubati
Assignment: Implementing G I Technologies Ethically
The critical questions are:
T-1 Reflect on differences between legal and ethical conduct within the context of the use and creation of digital data, products and services. Additionally, provide examples where the two are not synonymous.
T-2 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of April 5. [[What do you view as one of the most challenging ethical dilemmas brought about through the migration to large numbers of consumer transactions processed online? Construct your dilemma as two or more arguably justifiable but competing practices with each practice benefiting some but harming others. Identify the parties harmed and benefitted by each practice. How might an ethicist determine which is the preferred practice?]]
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 11

Module U – Privacy
Moderator/Editor: Stacey Tsultsumova
Assignment: Book 3, Chap 1 Intro and Chap 3 on Major U.S. Privacy Protections: Laws, Regulators and Approaches to Enforcement. Alternatively or additionally, read “Practical Law – Data protection in the United States: Overview” http://us.practicallaw.com/6-502-0467.  Book 3, Chap 3 discusses privacy laws by sector whereas the second reference discusses many of the same national laws but discusses them organized under a series of 24 questions.
The critical questions are:
U-1 What rights in privacy did you assume or believe you had before reading the material? Did your view change and in regard to what issue(s)?
U-2 Raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues related to the readings that you most would like to discuss with the rest of the class.
U-3 European citizens applying to U.S. universities have their rights protected under European rules of law. See for instance http://www.maine.edu/about-the-system/ums-data-book/GDPR/ Should the same privacy protection rules be enforced to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens? Why or why not?
U-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of April 10.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 16

Module V – Personal Information Privacy
Moderator/Editor: Chris Hillier
Assignment: Privacy in Our Digital Lives, Wired Article on NSA (see Backups – chickenSoup)
The critical questions are:
V-1 Privacy in Our Digital Lives is a document issued by the Obama Administration describing privacy protections in the nation as he left the Whitehouse. Contrast and compare the statement on Broadband Privacy of the Obama Administration with that of the Trump Administration for any of many recent news sources (e.g. search your own story or use https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/04/04/trump-has-signed-repeal-of-the-fcc-privacy-rules-heres-what-happens-next/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.58e3944d3862 or http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-broadband-privacy-senate-20170323-story.html). Present at least two arguments from each political side as to why their position is the better one for the long-term well being of the nation.
V-2 From the other topics listed in Privacy in our Digital Lives, list the one you would most like to discuss in class and what in particular about this topic makes it of particular interest or concern?
V-3 Provide three key reflections after reading about the NSA Utah Data Center (e.g. https://www.wired.com/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/).
V-4 Distance Students Only: No further question. There is enough to report on already.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 18

Module W – Evidentiary Admissibility
Moderator/Editor: Sai Katta
Assignment:Evidence from GIS , Mobile Device Evidence and Scientific Evidence by either Borenstein or excerpts of Beecher-Monas
The critical questions are:
W-1 In designing a system for automatically collecting physical data and/or data contributed by human operators, how would you best ensure that the data in the system at any time would be admissible in a court of law in terms of being authentic? That is how might you best design the system to ensure that at any particular time the data in the system reflects the status of the system at that time and the content has not been altered after a dispute has arisen by falsification, fabrication or operator error?
W-2 What is the current Federal Rules of Evidence test for allowing novel testimony by expert witnesses to be heard by juries?
W-3 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of April 17.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 23

Module X – Cyber Security
Moderator/Editor: Brendan O’Neil
Assignment: Richard M. Harrison, 2016, Strategic Primer – Cyber Security, Foreign Policy Council,
http://www.afpc.org/publication_listings/viewPolicyPaper/3148 and Mapping the Risks (Rand)
The critical questions are:
X-1 According to the Cyber Security Primer, what are the major vulnerabilities and challenges faced by the U.S. and how might the U.S. improve its cyber readiness?
X-2 According to Mapping the Risks, has the widespread availability of U.S. government records including geographic data made the nation more or less safe? Provide the arguments on both sides of this issue.
X-3 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of April 19.
Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 25

Module Z – Developing Nation Perspectives
Moderator/Editor: Stacey Tsultsumova
Assignment: Integrating IP and Development Policy
The critical questions are:
Z-1 Review the table of contents the reading, pick a chapter of interest to review in regard to the impact of IP rights in advancing least developed nations, and then raise and reflect on one or more questions or issues that you most would like to discuss with the rest of the class.
Z-2 Think of something you learned in this course that was unexpected. Write a True-False question that you probably would have gotten wrong had you guessed at the answer prior to taking this course. 
Z-3. Before the last live class period, review the questions on the SIE 525 Pre-Test. A copy of the form will be sent by email or Slack by the instructor. We will go over this material as a review in the last class period.
Z-4 Distance Students Only: Answer the further critical question embedded in the audio of the video recording of April 24. 

Due in Blackboard: before 8:00 pm on April 30

 

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