The Internet has emerged as a crucial platform for freedom of expression and the exchange of ideas and information. Access to an open Internet offers an opportunity for a global citizenry to freely communicate, collaborate, and exchange ideas. This participatory class offers the chance to study issues, challenges, theory, and practice in the realm of Internet freedom. We will focus on real-world case studies of the Internet mobilizing people by spreading alternative views and news; the parallel emergence of collective identity and civic action; Internet censorship; and technologies used to evade surveillance and filtering. We will also study the technical challenges of measuring and assessing digital repression, designing anti-censorship tools that have trust, scalability, and usability, as well as related privacy and security issues. Students will do individual or group projects relating to the concepts and themes discussed in this course.
This research seminar class is not limited to the graduate students in the School of Information; students from other departments on campus, including undergraduates, are welcome.