Skip down to main content

MSc Course on Internet Technologies and Regulation: History and Development of the Internet (2)

With Dr Joss Wright
17 Oct 2012
With Dr Joss Wright

While the Internet became a mass medium during the 1990s, its direct antecedents stretch back to the early 20th century, and historically through the telegraph to the Gutenberg press. This lecture will cover the network’s origins and history, and explore the ways in which it has shaped and been shaped by public policy.

  • How far can the Internet be understood within traditional patterns of print, broadcast and telecommunications regulation, and how far has it generated a novel response from policymakers?
  • Which aspects of the Internet are best understand as an evolution of the printing press, radio, television, newspaper and telegraph, and which as having entirely new patterns of social impact?

About the course

This multi-disciplinary course exposes students to basic communications and computer science materials on the core technological principles of the Internet, as well as more traditional social science materials such as public policy documents and reports as well as academic texts. In order to reinforce students’ appreciation of the importance of adopting a technologically informed approach to studying the Internet, the course covers several key policy debates such as content regulation, privacy and security and Internet governance, in each case identifying the extent to which the range of policy options is narrowed or expanded by fast-moving technological innovation, and shifts in public policy and regulation. This will, in addition, enable students to appreciate the broader implications and relevance of academic study in this field.