Governments have long regulated the broadcast media, and are increasingly turning their attention to content distributed via the Internet. Democracies and non-democracies alike are requiring that Internet Service Providers block access to child pornography, hate speech, and in some cases political and minority campaigns. This lecture will cover the blocking technologies used and the policies being developed in a range of nations including the UK, the US, China and Australia.
Can controls on the ‘chaos and cacophony’ of the Internet be put in place consistent with constitutional protections for freedom of expression?
How effective are current and future blocking technologies likely to be?
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.
About the speakers