Introduction to Politics of Information


3 units

Course Description

This course explores transformations of the information ecosystem in recent decades. Starting with the origins of the internet, and a theoretical framing of the issues, the focus is on the interaction of technical architecture, public policy and law, corporate business models, and societal norms in reshaping the information environment. In addition to looking at foundational policy such as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the course traces the growth of online misinformation and disinformation, algorithmic amplification, digital advertising, large scale data collection, and growing corporate scale and power — as well as the corresponding debates about content controls, encryption, privacy protection, information security, and antitrust regulation. While the primary case material is from the US (both state and national) the global nature of the internet means that the divergent policy trajectories of the European Union, China, and countries like India are a central theme throughout the course.

Requirements Satisfied

MIMS: Social Science and Policy Requirement
Ph.D. Breadth — Information Economics, Law, and Policy
Ph.D. Major/Minor Areas — Information Law and Policy
Last updated: May 8, 2024