Internet Communications 303

NET303 (Networks of Freedom and Control)

C2010 Information (March 2009)

Syllabus Statement

One enduring myth of the Internet is that what we do there cannot be controlled. While this is not true, the Internet does present new challenges and possibilities for regulation, producing new forms of freedom and constraint. In this unit you focus on the question of network freedom and control, via topics on censorship, privacy, security and harassment. You will explore how the Internet is ‘governed’, considering technical, legal and economic reasons for regulatory decisions. Ultimately, you will come to understand how networked communications both create and challenge long-running political contests of freedom and control.


At the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the way the Internet is experienced as a network of both freedom and control, with reference both to social and technical aspects of the Internet
  • Analyse specific Internet events and occurrences to gain broader insights into the operation of power and politics in Internet governance in a global society
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between sources of authority (public, commercial, political, expert, users) in Internet governance and the outcomes of decision-making about the Internet
  • Present reasoned arguments concerning the socio-technological character of Internet regulation
  • Use conceptual knowledge of Internet governance to make reasoned contributions to the development of policy and regulation for effective Internet governance

Tuition Pattern

2 hour seminar + 1 hour online


  • Essay 15% Week 6 ULOS 1,2
  • Learning Tasks and Discussion 15% Week 6+15 ULOS 4,5
  • Online Content Creation 30% Week 15 ULOS 2,3,5
  • Essay 40% Week 15 ULOS 1,2,3


Either of NET204 or NET205

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