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Internet Governance and Techno-Regulation



GJ, PSc, J

Admission Requirements

Similarly tagged 200/300-level courses.


This course is about regulation of technology and regulation through technology in the context of the Internet and Internet Governance. The main question is: how should we govern the Internet and how can we regulate online behavior?

This course will explore what role the law plays in governing the Internet. Special attention will be devoted to the role of technology in regulating online behavior and its interaction with the law.

Course Objectives

  • students will understand how the internet works from a technical and organisational standpoint and how this affects regulatory and governance strategies

  • students will understand how technology influences, mediates and regulates human behaviour

  • students will be able to formulate (more) effective regulatory strategies for dealing with online regulation issues such as freedom of speech, copyright, privacy and cybercrime

Mode of Instruction

Weekly working groups with discussion.


To be confirmed in course syllabis:

In-class participation: 20%
Essay: 20%
Presentation on essay: 20%
Final written exam: 40%


Class 1 & 2:

  • Schermer B. W., Wagemans, T. (2011), Freedom in the Days of the Internet, Brussels: Center for European Studies

  • Lessig, L. (2006). Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace: V2, New York: Basic Book, chapter 1

  • Mueller, M. L. (2010), Networks and States: the global politics of Internet Governance, MIT

  • David R. Johnson and David Post (1996) Law and borders (see: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=535)

Class 3 :

  • David R. Johnson and David Post (1996) Law and borders (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=535)

  • Lawrence Lessig (2008) Code version 2.0, Chapters 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7.

Class 4 :

  • Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein (2009) Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, Chapters 1-5

  • Ryan Calo (2013) Code, nudge, notice? (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2217013)

  • Orly Lobel & On Amir (2009) Stumble, Predict, Nudge: How Behavioral Economics Informs Law and Policy (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1327077)

Class 5:

  • Van den Hoven (1997) Privacy and the Varieties of Informational Wrongdoing

  • Data Protection in the European Union (via: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/policies/privacy/docs/guide/guide-ukingdom_en.pdf)

  • Kuner (2012), The European Commission’s Proposed Data Protection Regulation: A Copernican Revolution in European Data Protection Law, Privacy & Security Law Report, 11 PVLR 06

Class 6:

  • Mireille Hildebrandt (2008) Profiling and the rule of law (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1332076)

  • Brown and Korff (2008) Terrorism and the proportionality of Internet surveillance (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1261194)

  • Arnold Roosendaal (2010) Facebook tracks and traces everyone: Like this! (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1717563)

Class 7:

  • Van der Kooij & Visser (2012), EU IP Law (available via the course free of charge), chapter 1 and 4

  • EU (2009) Creative Content in a European Digital Single Market: Challenges for the Future A Reflection Document of DG INFSO and DG MARKT

Class 8:

  • Jack M. Balkin (2009) The future of free expression in a digital age (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1335055)

  • Jennifer A. Chandler (2008) A right to reach an audience: An approach to intermediary bias on the Internet (see http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1021344)

  • Derek Bambauer (2006) Cool tools for tyrants (see http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/January-February-2006/feature_bambauer_janfeb06.msp)

Class 9:

  • Bert Jaap Koops (2010), The Internet and its Opportunities for Cybercrime

  • Susan Brenner (2102), Cybercrime and the Law: Challenges, Issues, and Outcomes

Class 10: –

Contact Information

Mr. dr. Bart W. Schermer

Weekly Overview

Week 1: Introduction: what is the internet and how do we use it? (Bart)
Week 2: The Internet ecosystem, theories of internet regulation and governance (Bart)
Week 3: Techno regulation (Bibi)
Week 4: Nudging (Bibi)
Week 5: Capita selecta: Privacy (Bart)
Week 6: Capita selecta: Profiling (Bibi)
Week 7: Capita selecta: Copyright (Bart)
Week 8: Capita selecta: Freedom of speech (Bibi)
Week 9: Capita selecta: Cybercrime (Bart)
Week 10: Final presentations and wrap up (Bart)

Preparation for first session

Required reading for the first class: Freedom in the days of the Internet (page 20-65)