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Regulating Security in Cyberspace


Admission requirements

Admission only after intake, please see our website.

Admission only for those who are enrolled in the governance track.


The Internet has become a critical infrastructure in our modern society. It is ubiquitous: we use it at home, at work, and when in transit, to email, look up information on Google, or check in with friends via social media. This global network with its wide variety of application domains has enriched our lives and made them more fun and more efficient. However, it has also created multiple vulnerabilities to security threats due to the growing dependency of our lives on information networks. This course will focus on the role of legal and regulatory frameworks in addressing security issues in cyberspace.

Cyberspace raises a multitude of specific regulatory challenges related to security. First of all, there is a conflict between the territorial nature of regulation and the global networks that know no borders. How to regulate in this borderless reality? Secondly, when networks are owned by private companies, what is the role of the industry in addressing security issues in cyberspace? Thirdly, how and when should regulators intervene and how to create meaningful and enforceable regulatory frameworks? How much regulation is too much? Lastly, there are various challenges regulators have to address in relation to security and privacy, freedom of speech, and other fundamental rights.

Taken together, all of these questions lead to the following: how can we design regulatory frameworks that would ensure the safety of the Internet and its users? What is the role of law in this regard? Are there other regulatory strategies that we could implement when the law is not able to deliver a proper level of protection?

Technological developments relating to the Internet in general and cybersecurity in particular occur at dazzling speed. Regulators and policy makers need to be able to think creatively and flexibly about solutions for potential problems. This course will provide students with an understanding of the complexity of some of the fundamental and emerging legal and regulatory issues in relation to security in cyberspace and will equip them for the multidisciplinary dialogue with policy makers and ICT specialists that is necessary to tackle these issues.

Course objectives

Participants have:

  • basic knowledge of regulation theory and the many means and ends of regulating human behaviour, of the web of key concepts in the fields of law and regulation that are relevant for the cybersecurity domain.

  • advanced knowledge and understanding of the fundamental legal and regulatory issues that have emerged in relation to cybersecurity, and the relevance of design choices in the architecture of the network for both the creation and solution of these issues.

  • advanced knowledge of the intricacies of specific regulatory security domains of the Internet, including social network sites (SNS), online marketplaces and Internet forums.

  • awareness of the limitations of regulation in general, and of regulating cybersecurity in particular.

Participants are able to:

  • present arguments pro and contra regulating security on the internet in general, to weigh good and bad outcomes when choosing specific regulatory solutions in particular cases and to present a best possible solution.

  • translate complex regulatory issues, into a comprehensible, practical set of regulatory options and tools.

  • engage in a multidisciplinary dialogue with policy makers and ICT specialists to tackle the regulatory issues that are raised by and on the internet, with a special focus on cybersecurity.


7 days from 9.30 until 17.00

Thursday 10 December 2020
Friday 11 December 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
Friday 8 January 2021
Friday 15 January 2021
Friday 22 January 2021
Friday 29 January 2021 (exam)

Mode of instruction

Lectures, seminars, exercises, class discussion
Lecturers: Dr. Tatiana Tropina and others

Assessment method


  • 20% of final grade

  • Grade must be compensated

  • Resit not possible

Written exam

  • 80% of final grade

  • Grade must be 5.50 or higher to pass the course

  • Resit of a fail is possible.

  • Resit will take the same form

Reading list

Compulsory literature and literature for further consultation will be announced via Brightspace.


No registration is required for lectures and exams.


Dr. Tatiana Tropina Chantal de Groot, study coordinator


For more information see our website.