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Current and upcoming classes available with CIS faculty, staff, and affiliates

Spring 2015

Information Privacy Law
Instructor: Jennifer Granick
Today almost all modern businesses need advice about information privacy law. While the roots of privacy law in the US started with a right to be let alone, modern business models, the needs of the administrative state, law enforcement priorities, and our own behavior complicate approaches based solely upon seclusion or secrecy. This course will explore the roots of US privacy law, its evolution in the 20th century, and the challenges of regulating information in the modern era where institutions and individuals need and reveal information constantly, but also seek basic dignity and safety from harm. Privacy law is comprised of torts, contracts, constitutional law, statutory law, soft law norms, and emerging technologies. We will discuss all of these things, as well as incorporate developments in the news. 

Antitrust
Instructor: Barbara van Schewick
Antitrust law sets the ground rules for competition. This course will explore the basic concepts in antitrust law. We will examine cartels and competitor collaborations, monopolization, vertical restraints and mergers. There are no prerequisites for this course. No economic background is required.  The course is open to GSB students and graduate students in the Economics Department.

Winter 2015

Communications Law: Internet and Telephony
Instructor: Barbara van Schewick

New developments in Internet and other technology enable new forms of innovation, content production and political participation that have the potential to significantly transform our economy, society and democratic system. This transformation will not happen automatically. Technical, legal and economic choices will affect whether the Internet can realize its potential or not. Communications law - the law that governs both the physical infrastructures for communications services such as cable and telephone networks as well as the communication services which are provided over these infrastructures - has become one of the most important arenas in which choices affecting the future of the information society are made. The debates over network neutrality (whether network providers should be able to restrict the applications and content that their Internet service customers can access over the network) or the right ways to foster broadband deployment are examples of this trend. At the same time, the Internet's ability to support a variety of different communications services such as telephony, information services or video over the same physical network infrastructure challenges the existing communications law, which is based on the assumption that different physical infrastructures offer different communications services. What are the features of the Internet that are at the core of its economic, social, cultural and political potential? What can regulators and legislators do to allow the Internet to realize this potential? And how can they allow applications like Internet telephony and traditional telephony to coexist without giving one an unfair advantage over the other? The course will address how current law deals with these questions, but also explore what regulators and legislators may do to better deal with the challenges posed by the Internet. The course is mostly focused on the US, but highlights developments elsewhere where appropriate. 

Autumn 2014

Surveillance Law (Coursera)
Instructor: Jonathan Mayer

It’s easy to be cynical about government surveillance. In recent years, a parade of Orwellian disclosures have been making headlines. The FBI, for example, is hacking into computers that run anonymizing software. The NSA is vacuuming up domestic phone records. Even local police departments are getting in on the act, tracking cellphone location history and intercepting signals in realtime. Perhaps 2014 is not quite 1984, though. This course explores how American law facilitates electronic surveillance—but also substantially constrains it. You will learn the legal procedures that police and intelligence agencies have at their disposal, as well as the security and privacy safeguards built into those procedures. The material also provides brief, not-too-geeky technical explanations of some common surveillance methods.

 

Past Classes

Spring 2014

Antitrust
Instructor: Barbara van Schewick
Antitrust law sets the ground rules for competition. This course will explore the basic concepts in antitrust law. We will examine cartels and competitor collaborations, monopolization, vertical restraints and mergers. There are no prerequisites for this course. No economic background is required.  The course is open to GSB students and graduate students in the Economics Department.

Current Issues in Network Neutrality
Instructor: Barbara van Schewick
Do we need network neutrality rules and, if yes, what should they be? After more than ten years, this question is still hotly debated around the world. Network neutrality rules limit the ability of Internet service providers to interfere with the applications, content and services on their networks; they allow users to decide how they want to use the Internet without interference from Internet service providers. 

In the US, the recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in Verizon v. FCC has re-opened the debate. In December 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the Open Internet Order, which enacted binding network neutrality rules for the first time. In January of this year, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the core provisions of the Open Internet Order - the rules against blocking and discrimination. As a result of this ruling, Internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T or Cox Cable that connect users to the Internet are now free to block any content, service or application they want. They can slow down selected applications, speed up others, or ask application or content providers like Netflix or Spotify to pay fees to reach their users. These practices would fundamentally change how we experience the Internet. In the wake of the Court's decision, policy makers, stakeholders and observers in the US are debating how to best ensure that the Internet remains open and free. In February, the Federal Communications Commission opened a new docket to collect public input on the best way to proceed. In Europe, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the member states are currently considering which approach to network neutrality they should take. The Brazilian Parliament is in the process of adopting network neutrality rules. 
 
This seminar aims to enable students to participate in the ongoing policy debates over network neutrality in the US and abroad. Class sessions will explore whether there is a need for network neutrality rules and, if yes, what kind of rules a network neutrality regime should include. For example, should network neutrality rules only ban blocking, or also discrimination? And if yes, what kind of differential treatment should be banned? Should Internet service providers be allowed to charge application or content providers for prioritized or otherwise enhanced access to their Internet service customers? How can we find network neutrality rules that allow network providers to manage their networks and that allow innovation in the network, while protecting the interests of users and application developers? Does competition in the market for Internet services remove the need for network neutrality rules? And finally, what is the best way to move forward in the US? 
 
Students will work in groups on written assignments that explore specific questions from the perspective of particular Internet companies or interest groups. Students are expected to attend all sessions of the class and participate in the class discussion. 
 
Special Instructions: Students may submit consent applications to enroll in the "Current Issues in Network Neutrality" seminar and the "Next Steps in Network Neutrality" policy lab practicum. Students concurrently accepted in the seminar and the policy practicum will research and write parts of white papers and comments to the Federal Communications Commission that will help policy makers assess the available options. Students will be required to attend the seminar and participate in the discussion, but will not do any of the written assignments for the seminar. Students enrolled in the seminar and the practicum will have the option to write papers for W, PW, or R credit in the practicum, with instructor consent. 
 
The class is open to law students and students from other parts of the university. It does not require any technical background. 
 
Consent Application: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructor. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline. 
 
Next Steps in Network Neutrality
Instructor: Barbara van Schewick
Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet rules. This policy practicum will help policy makers assess the available options in the wake of the court's decision.
 
In December 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the Open Internet Order, which enacted binding network neutrality rules for the first time. Network neutrality rules limit the ability of Internet service providers to interfere with the applications, content and services on their networks; they allow users to decide how they want to use the Internet without interference from Internet service providers. 
 
In January of this year, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down the core provisions of the Open Internet Order - the rules against blocking and discrimination. The decision combined two wins for the FCC with one decisive loss. According to the Court, the FCC has authority to regulate providers of broadband Internet access service under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the FCC's justification for the Open Internet Order is "reasonable and supported by substantial evidence." The no-blocking and non-discrimination rules, the Court found, however, violate the Communications Act's ban on imposing common carrier obligations on entities like Internet service providers that the FCC has not classified as telecommunications service providers under Title II of the Communications Act. 
 
As a result of this ruling, Internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T or Cox Cable that connect users to the Internet are now free to block any content, service or application they want. They can slow down selected applications, speed up others, or ask application or content providers like Netflix or Spotify to pay fees to reach their users. These practices would fundamentally change how we experience the Internet. 
 
In the wake of the Court's decision, policy makers, stakeholders and observers are debating how to best ensure that the Internet remains open and free. Policy makers essentially have three options: First, the FCC can preserve the Open Internet Rules by reclassifying Internet service as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act. Second, it can develop a different, narrower network neutrality regime under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act within the boundaries established by the Court of Appeal's decision. Finally, Congress or the FCC can adopt a new network neutrality regime, but only, in the case of the FCC, after reclassifying Internet service as a telecommunications service. In mid-February, the Federal Communications Commission opened a docket within which to consider how the Commission should proceed. 
 
Special Instructions: Upon consent of the instructor, students may choose enrollment Option 1 or Option 2: 
 
Option 1 (3 units) - Students who elect Option 1 will research and write parts of white papers and comments to the Federal Communications Commission that will help policy makers assess the available options. In special cases, students electing Option 1 may take the policy practicum for 2 units. Students interested in this option should indicate this on their application. 
 
Option 2 (1 to 2 units) - In order to elect Option 2, students must concurrently enroll (with consent of instructor) in the seminar component, "Current Issues in Network Neutrality" (2 units), which meets Thursdays from 4:15pm-6:15pm. Students in the policy practicum with the seminar component will research and write parts of white papers and comments to the Federal Communications Commission that will help policy makers assess the available options Students will be required to attend the seminar and participate in the discussion, but will not do any of the written assignments for the seminar. 
 
Depending on the type of work in Option 1 or Option 2, students taking the policy practicum for two-units or more may receive professional writing (PW) or research (R) credit. Students must obtain the instructor's approval of their election to take the course for writing (PW or W) or research (R) credit. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from the W/PW writing section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. 
 
The class is open to law students and students from other parts of the university. It does not require any technical background. 
 
Consent Application: To apply for this course, students must complete and e-mail the Consent Application Form available on the SLS Registrar's Office website (see Registration and Selection of Classes for Stanford Law Students) to the instructors. See Consent Application Form for submission deadline. 
 
Instructor: Jonathan Mayer
This seminar surveys the legal environment for technology security and privacy. We will emphasize areas of law that are frequently invoked, hotly contested, or ripe for reform. Specific topics will include trespass offenses (CFAA and DMCA), consumer protection against deficient security, breach notification, privacy policies, communications safeguards (ECPA), and compelled disclosure to law enforcement and intelligence agencies (Title III and FISA). The material will draw upon high profile and challenging cases, including the prosecutions of Aaron Swartz and Bradley Manning, the contempt citation against Lavabit, and class actions against Apple, Facebook, and Google. 
 
Students will have the option of completing a series of short written assignments or one research paper. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor. 
 
A background in computer science is not required for this course. 

Winter 2014

Communication Law: Broadcast and Cable Television
Instructor: Barbara van Schewick
Most people watch television on a regular basis (although not necessarily on TV). Television entertains, delivers the news, and provides an important forum for debating political issues. Focusing on communications law and first amendment law, the course will discuss how and why regulation shapes what we see on TV, and how it attempts to ensure that television can fulfill its functions for society. For example, why is cable television so expensive? Why can comedians swear on cable TV, but not on broadcast TV? Should regulators care as much about violence as they do about indecency? Can we trust the market to give the audience what it wants? Will the market provide content that is in the public interest, such as local news or educational programming, or do regulators need to intervene? Should we care if media outlets are increasingly owned by a few small conglomerates? And how does the Internet affect the need for ownership regulation? The course mostly focuses on the U.S., but highlights developments elsewhere where appropriate. 

Modern Surveillance Law
Instructors: Jennifer Granick and Richard Salgado

This seminar is an in depth look at modern government surveillance policies and practices. Taught by Richard Salgado, director of law enforcement and information security at Google, Inc, and a former prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Jennifer Granick, Stanford Center for Internet and Society's Civil Liberties Director, the course will cover the technology, law and policy of government surveillance of the Internet and other communications technologies. We will focus on U.S. law, but other nations' interactions with U.S. companies will be addressed. Technologies covered will include wiretapping, stored data collection and mining, location tracking and drones and legal regimes will include the Fourth Amendment, Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the USA Patriot Act, CALEA and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 

Spring 2013

Privacy and Technology in Law and Practice
Instructors: Jennifer Granick / Aleecia McDonald
In this lecture course, students will identify instances in which new technologies have changed the likelihood that information about individuals will be created, collected, stored, analyzed, and disclosed to both private entities and to governments. We will look at the internet, mobile platforms and drones, among other developments. The class will identify both privacy defeating and privacy enhancing technologies, and consider how legal regimes and policy choices as well as technological design can mitigate or highten the risk of unwanted information disclosure. Assignments will ask for both descriptive and normative analysis. Students will examine the interrelationship between privacy, security, free speech, innovation and other public goods and be asked to debate particular policy outcomes in light of competing values about information privacy with regard to both the public and private sector. We will cover issues such as Do-Not-Track and online advertising, data security breaches, consumer notice, privacy by design, corporate best practices, Federal Trade Commission enforcement, workplace monitoring, and law enforcement and national security access. 

Communications Law: Internet and Telephony
Instructor: Barbara van Schewick
New developments in Internet and other technology enable new forms of innovation, content production and political participation that have the potential to significantly transform our economy, society and democratic system. This transformation will not happen automatically. Technical, legal and economic choices will affect whether the Internet can realize its potential or not. Communications law - the law that governs both the physical infrastructures for communications services such as cable and telephone networks as well as the communication services which are provided over these infrastructures - has become one of the most important arenas in which choices affecting the future of the information society are made. The debates over network neutrality (whether network providers should be able to restrict the applications and content that their Internet service customers can access over the network) or the right ways to foster broadband deployment are examples of this trend. At the same time, the Internet's ability to support a variety of different communications services such as telephony, information services or video over the same physical network infrastructure challenges the existing communications law, which is based on the assumption that different physical infrastructures offer different communications services. What are the features of the Internet that are at the core of its economic, social, cultural and political potential? What can regulators and legislators do to allow the Internet to realize this potential? And how can they allow applications like Internet telephony and traditional telephony to coexist without giving one an unfair advantage over the other? The course will address how current law deals with these questions, but also explore what regulators and legislators may do to better deal with the challenges posed by the Internet. The course is mostly focused on the US, but highlights developments elsewhere where appropriate. Students may take Communications Law: Internet and Telephony and Communications Law: Broadcast and Cable Television in any order (neither is a prerequisite for the other). There are no prerequisites for this course. No technical background is required.

Winter 2013

Antitrust
I
nstructor: Barbara van Schewick
This course will explore the basic concepts in antitrust and competition. We will examine cartels, monopolization, vertical restraints and mergers. The course is open to GSB students and graduate students in the Economics Department. 

 

Autumn 2012

Intellectual Property Advanced Topics: The Future of Online Music and Online Video
I
nstructors: Barbara van Schewick and Paul Goldstein
The online music and online video industries are undergoing profound changes. In online video, the rise of Netflix and Hulu are just two examples of this trend. This class will explore how the different technical, economic or regulatory decisions we make today will interact to shape the future of these industries, and what the different options under consideration will mean for specific companies in this space. Class sessions will consist of a mix of guest lectures by industry leaders and class discussions of the assigned readings. Throughout the class, the students will work in interdisciplinary groups on problems facing specific companies in the online and online video industry today. For the final project, the groups will address specific policy problems from the perspective of a specific company, with different groups representing companies on different sides of an issue. The class is open to law students and students from other parts of the university.

Legal Aspects of Autonomous Driving
Instructor: Bryant Walker Smith
Self-driving cars and trucks are rapidly entering the mainstream. They raise key legal and policy questions, which this seminar explores through source materials (from case law to treaties), academic scholarship, and industry speakers. Topics include state and federal regulation, public and private standards, liability and insurance, privacy and security, and social norms. Because the course is intended to meaningfully advance -- rather than to merely present -- legal analysis of this emerging technology, participants will be expected to actively contribute during class and to critically reflect through either regular essays for W credit or a final research paper for R credit. 

Winter 2012

Cyberlaw/Fair Use Clinic: Advanced
Instructor: Anthony Falzone
In this hands-on, project-oriented seminar, students will work on a wide range of cyberlaw projects with lawyers from the Center for Internet and Society's Fair Use Project and with lawyers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. There will be significant faculty-student interactions through meetings to discuss the projects and an associated bi-monthly discussion seminar covering advanced cyberlaw topics.

This clinic provides law students with the opportunity to represent clients in cutting-edge issues of intellectual property and technology law, in the public interest. Through the hands-on experience of representing clients (under the supervision of the faculty) in various fora, students will learn professional responsibility and advocacy skills, substantive law and procedural rules related to their projects, and will examine the concept of the public interest in intellectual property and technology law. Clients will likely vary widely, and may be individual artists; technologists; non-profit institutions; coalitions; etc. In the past, students have drafted amicus briefs, counseled nonprofits on public-interest initiatives, created a patent licensing scheme, represented independent and documentary filmmakers who are pursuing legislation in Congress, and counseled artists developing new technology-based art forms, among other projects. Thus, the skills each student learns will also vary according to project. In the classroom component, we will explore public interest practice in tech law in various fora, and spend significant time on student projects.

You are expected to commit approximately 20 hours per week (variable) to clinic work.

Elements used in Grading: Compliance with office procedures, dependability, relationship with clients and students, instructor and supervisor, productivity, responsibility, class participation, quality of work, development of lawyering skills, improvement shown.

Spring 2012
Intellectual Property Advanced Topics:The Future of Online Music and Online Video
Instructors: Barbara van Schewick and Paul Goldstein

The online music and online video industries are undergoing profound changes. In online video, the rise of Netflix and Hulu are just two examples of this trend. This class will explore how the different technical, economic or regulatory decisions we make today will interact to shape the future of these industries, and what the different options under consideration will mean for specific companies in this space. Class sessions will consist of a mix of guest lectures by industry leaders and class discussions of the assigned readings.

Throughout the class, the students will work in interdisciplinary groups on problems facing specific companies in the online and online video industry today. For the final project, the groups will address specific policy problems from the perspective of a specific company, with different groups representing companies on different sides of an issue.

The class is open to law students and students from other parts of the university.

Privacy and Technology
Instructor: Ryan Calo

This seminar explores U.S. privacy law through the lens of American experiences with, and perceptions of, technology. Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis open their seminal article The Right to Privacy with a vivid description of technologic change. The reader learns that "recent inventions" such as "instantaneous photographs … have invaded the sacred precincts of private and domestic life" and how "numerous mechanical devices threaten to make good the prediction that 'what is whispered in the closet shall be proclaimed from the house-tops.'" The examples change, but countless law review articles, court opinions, floor debates, and legislative preambles also begin by describing a technological shift thought to necessitate a change in regulation or interpretation. The evolution of American privacy law seems inexorably bound up in a story about technology.

What role does our perception of technology play in establishing or reforming statutory, common, and constitutional privacy law? Can the way we conceptualize technology shed light on the disconnect between how people talk about privacy and behave in practice? Can it help explain the lag many perceive between the evolution of privacy law and the pace of technologic change? Through a series of readings that include case law, statutes, and academic scholarship, seminar participants will gain a working understanding of American privacy law by examining its intersection with our individual and collect experiences of technology.

Autumn 2011
Freedom of Speech in a Digitally Interconnected World
Instructor: Andrew McLaughlin

This course will examine differing national approaches to the regulation of speech and expression, aiming at a deeper understanding of the First Amendment and its values in today's context of global interconnectedness. Americans tend to underappreciate the extent to which the First Amendment, as interpreted by our federal courts, is exceptional, both in the scope of its protections and the peculiarity of its limitations and exceptions. We also tend to equate our expansive First Amendment with democracy, and censorship with dictatorship, whereas in practice nearly all other countries, including many vibrant democracies, have implemented regimes for speech regulation that are notably more restrictive than ours. To understand why, students in this course will engage in a critical, comparative examination of the major legal, cultural, religious, and political rationales put forth for limiting individual expression, and then examine how those rationales play out in real-world legal and extra-legal state systems and tactics.

Our work will be broken into three parts. We'll start with a systematic look at the leading theories and justifications asserted to support state restrictions on citizen speech and press activities. We'll then delve into country case studies, including India, Germany, Thailand, Turkey, Australia, Iran, Russia, South Korea, France, and the UK. Finally, we'll assess the ability of conflicting national systems to coexist in the age of the Internet, which is both increasingly significant as a medium of individual and organized expression, and proving to be disruptive of traditional legal and non-legal state techniques for enforcing limitations.

Special Instructions: This course is open to law students and graduate students from other parts of the university. Students will have the option to write either a significant research paper or a series of weekly writing assignments. After the term begins, students accepted into the course can transfer from section (01) into section (02), which meets the R requirement, with consent of the instructor.

 


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