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Difficult Problems in Cyberlaw

There’s a three-week course–“Difficult Problems in Cyberlaw”– being taught on the Stanford Law School campus right now by Visiting Professor Jonathan Zittrain and Elizabeth Stark, co-hosted by Stanford Law School and Harvard Law School. Students from Stanford, Harvard and MIT are tackling real-life problems pertaining to Internet commerce, governance, security, and information dissemination. They are exploring overlapping themes: due process online among private sheriffs, the role of intermediaries, motivating good and bad actors, collaborating and relying on the masses, and privacy and anonymity on the Internet. Specifically, students are grappling with four “difficult” issues: the Global Network Initiative, ubiquitous human computing, the future of Wikipedia, and cybersecurity.

The course meets daily until January 21, with visits from corporate executives, artists, entrepreneurs, academics, and participants of online communities. It also includes excursions to a variety of organizations within the Silicon Valley technology community including eBay, Facebook, and Reputation Defender. This immersion is enabling students to gain a first-hand look at the environments in which these “difficult problems” may arise.

In the spirit of open access and because this course is designed to tackle real-life issues, the class participants are tweeting and blogging the content of their discussion, and hope to facilitate public debate, generate solutions, and inspire even better questions.

We invite you to explore the syllabus and participate in the course wiki at http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cyberlaw_winter10/Main_Page.

You can also follow along and contribute on Twitter at @DifficultProbs (http://twitter.com/difficultprobs), and on the blog at http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/difficultprobs .

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