Technology and Policy Lab
In this lab course, students will engage in hands-on examinations of the policy implications of technical standards currently under consideration, the technical andpolicy impacts of legislation before state and federal government, and ongoing efforts to address policy implications of the introduction of new technology into government processes. Through research, analysis and direct participation in standards setting and other processes, students will gain experience applying law and policy theory to real world cases.
The course will begin with regular meetings for discussion of various standard setting bodies and their practices and processes, the history and current status of legal doctrine and the underlying theory of technology and delegation. The remainder of the course will be project based: students may bring their own projects or contribute to ongoing collaborations with organizations such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the Digital Due Process Coalition (ddp); or participate in research related to the Smart Grid, eVoting, net neutrality and other complicated issues facing policymakers.
The exact focus of projects will depend on the interests and skills of participating students and faculty, but may include: empirical research on the use and abuse of Web standards; prototype implementations of proposed value-focused technologies; analysis of proposed Electronic Communications Privacy Act reforms; qualitative research on the policy implications of voting system changes; and, ethnographic studies of technical standards organizations.
This course has no technical or law/policy pre-requisites. Class will meet regularly on Thursday afternoons and occasionally for project meetings on Tuesday afternoons.
(Students who wish to be fully participating members in a technical standards body may take an additional unit with the instructors' permission.)