This course examines selected fundamental policy questions regarding information and communications, with special attention to intricate policy issues such as information ownership rights, privacy rights, and public access to information. The course will examine such issues by focusing on the underlying constitutional principles, laws and regulations, statutes, and government policies that impact such issues. Specific attention will be given to federal policies within the United States but state and local policies will be examined as needed. Specific course topics will include universal service, information equity, privacy, intellectual property, censorship, e-government, and information management. The course focuses on providing information professionals with a fundamental understanding of the importance and impact of information policy.
At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
- Understand policy issues such as access rights, proprietary rights, consumer rights and privacy rights in the information policy arenas;
- Distinguish between constitutional provisions, statutes, laws, regulations and federal policies relating to selected information policy issues;
- Research information-related topics within the policy arena;
- Understand policy issues that are of interest to information professionals;
- Analyze and describe information policy issues;
- Demonstrate a broad understanding of major domestic information and telecommunications policy issues;
- Express familiarity with significant literature, constitutional provisions, statutes, domestic laws, regulations and government policies relating to information policy issues;
- Analyze and describe information policy issues;
- Illustrate an understanding of key information and telecommunications policy issues such as information access rights, universal service, and privacy
This course will primarily make use of academic journal and other articles, standard literature, and government documents. The materials will all be available either through online databases through the FSU library or on publically available websites. Readings will be assigned and posted to the course site.
- Research and draw from a variety of resources in developing a thesis; no source is forbidden, but ALL sources must be implicitly or explicitly evaluated with regards to accuracy and reliability, and cited to properly.
- Turn in her own (or the group's own) work. Citation and quoting of other sources is permissible, but only as a supplement to the student's original work, and must be clearly distinguished as such. Plagiarism is strictly forbidden.
- Adhere to the specifications of the assignment, such as format and word count.
WEEK # - TEAM NAME
These will be graded "quasi pass/fail" in order to (hopefully) stimulate interesting conversation and to minimize students' seeking to "please the instructor." For the first 3 weeks, we may evaluate and comment on your content, but such evaluation will NOT be applied to your grade, you merely need to complete the assignment for credit. However, after 3 weeks, I will begin to take off points (up to 3 final grade points per assignment) for sloppiness and/or laziness.
These will be posted to the appropriate discussion board. Other teams may comment.
Rich Text (.rtf)
OpenOffice (.odt, .odf, .sxw.)
HTML or XML (.htm, .html, .xml)
10% - Short Essays
50% - Long Papers
Outline of topics. (Tentative and may change in the future)
Unit I: Introduction to the Internet
The Infrastructure and Economics of the Internet
Introduction to Legal Theory and Internet Law
Unit II: Freely Available Information (Intellectual Property)
Theory; Trademark and Trade Secret
Copyright and Patent
Modern Problems in IP
Solutions in IP
Unit III: Internet Regulation revisited
Older Models of Media Regulation
Unit IV: Privacy
The Law and Tech of Privacy
The Law and Tech of Anonymity
Unit V: Social Surplus and the Crowd
Assembly in the Internet Age: Spontaneous and Anonymous Communities
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technologies
UNIVERSITY ATTENDANCE POLICY:
Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to
active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences
will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse.
Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.
Corroborating documentation for all excuses must be submitted in writing, must be signed by
the excusing authority, and must include complete contact information for the authority,
including telephone numbers and address.It is the student's responsibility to verify course drops and check that fees are adjusted.
In addition, the course requires that attendance in distance and in-class classes shall mean regular
access to the course web site via campus.fsu.edu, regular participation in class discussion forums, as
well as proper submission of assignments and timely review of grades. Here, "regular" shall mean a
substantial amount of time on a weekly basis.
ACADEMIC HONOR POLICY:
The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University’s expectations for the
integrity of students’ academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those
expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the
process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their
pledge to “. . . be honest and truthful and . . . [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at
Florida State University.” (Florida State University Academic Honor Policy, found at
Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:
(1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; and
(2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This should be
done during the first week of class.
This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request.
For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the:
Student Disability Resource Center
874 Traditions Way
108 Student Services Building
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167
(850) 644-9566 (voice)
(850) 644-8504 (TDD)
SYLLABUS CHANGE POLICY:
"Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this
syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice.”
Some of the materials in this course are possibly copyrighted. They are intended for use only by
students registered and enrolled in this course and only for instructional activities associated with, and
for the duration of, the course. They may not be retained in another medium or disseminated further.
They are provided in compliance with the provisions of the Technology, Education, And Copyright
Harmonization (TEACH) Act (refer to the 3/7/2001 TEACH Act at
SEXUAL HARRASSMENT POLICY:
It is the policy of the University that its employees and students neither commit nor condone sexual
harassment in any form. http://registrar.fsu.edu/bulletin/grad/info/university_notices.htm
iSchool HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS:
A list of all hardware and software requirements for students participating in the School of Library and
Information Studies (SLIS) courses can be found at the following location:
STUDENT ELIGIBILITY FOR AN INCOMPLETE GRADE:
Incomplete (“I”) grades will not be assigned, except in the case of exceptional unforeseen
circumstances that occur within the last three weeks of the semester and your work has otherwise been
satisfactory (C average).