LIS5411 - Introduction to Information Policy

Welcome to the Course!

This front page - in Canvas - is the primary source of material for this course; everything you need for the course will be available here. Many links go through (including a mirror of this page for backup and emergency purposes); feel free to browse that as well, but nothing is due or required besides attendance for our first day.

The course will be administered through Zoom, link forthcoming. There will be groupwork during most classtimes; to facilitate this I'll be using a trick that has served me well, essentially what you will do is prepend your team number before your name in Zoom so I am able to "move" you quickly and easily. We will *not* be doing groupwork on the first day of class, so do not worry about this just yet.

Note: I'm also a big fan of Discord. It is in no way required, but I will make my semi-private (non-profit) Discord server available to you all, with a channel dedicated to this class. You may use this for class-wide discussions, as well as a meeting point if you'd like to use Discord instead of the Zoom rooms.

Contacting me should be done through regular email, at ( It is my informed opinion that "Canvas Conversations" should be avoided by all, standard email much better respects autonomy and privacy.)

Feel free to peruse the older readings (available at the mirror of the site if you can't see them here, check to the side or below if you're on your phone once you've clicked through - - Though, note, the readings and course arc may change drastically, given that the real world of information and tech policy has some *very* interesting upcoming matters to deal with.

Week 14 - Money


Week 13 - Access and E-Government

Interesting contrarian perspective:


State of things[[|4]]

ALA Policy (review)

Week 12 - FAI III - Now and Future


Week 11 - FAI II - Recent / History

Review Trademark, Patent LAw and Copyright from below, and:

Alternate Modes

Orphan Works


DMCA (as a model for prediction of consequences) (skim for pertinent info)


Week 10 - Freely Available Information

The Basics:
The Four Types of Intellectual Property Protection -


Trademark law - Modern Wiki - Fandom

Patent Law: Everything You Need to Know

Copyright Basics

Rethinking things:

Intellectual? Property?
Did You Say Intellectual Property? Its a Seductive Mirage
Property Rights and Intellectual Property

Heavy ideas: Compare Anarchism Triumphant with Enforcing Copyright

Week 9 - Privacy and Policy

Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have 'Nothing to Hide' - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Right of Privacy: Is it Protected by the Constitution?
Privacy Paper
Obfuscation: how leaving a trail of confusion can beat online surveillance | Data protection | The Guardian
Snowden warns new surveillance measures will outlast the coronavirus
European Commission

Week 8 - Social Media

Social Media Is a Denial-of-Service Attack on Your Mind
Death of the private self: how fifteen years of Facebook changed the human condition | Facebook | The Guardian
Battling coronavirus misinformation in the age of social media | Coronavirus | The Guardian
For Rogue Twitter, You Need Burner Phone, Anonymous Email
Why RSS Still Beats Facebook and Twitter for Tracking News
RSS Is Better Than Twitter

Week 7 - Anonymity and Social Surplus

What Is Tor and Why Should I Use It?
This is what a Tor Supporter looks like: Laura Poitras | Tor Blog
No guarantees here, for information only:

Why Pseudonymity Is Such an Important Concept | by Mark Suster | Both Sides of the Table
Facebook's Randi Zuckerberg: Anonymity Online 'Has To Go Away' | HuffPost

The Plot to Free North Korea With Smuggled Episodes of 'Friends' | WIRED
Obfuscation: how leaving a trail of confusion can beat online surveillance | Data protection | The Guardian

The Right to Read

Weath of Networks - Chapter 1
Playing With Toys While People are Dying | by Paul Kilduff-Taylor | Medium
Online communities are the best thing about the Internet - Biznology

How the Internet Is Saving Culture, Not Killing It - The New York Times
Teens Arent Partying Anymore
Cognitive Surplus - a more moral choice

Week 6 - Intro to Privacy and Verification

aka "I was right, 3rd party password managers are a bad idea"

The tech
How internet encryption works | Data protection | The Guardian
Public key cryptography - Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange (full version) - YouTube
TrueCrypt audit shows no sign of NSA backdoors, just some minor glitches | PCWorld

What is Cryptographic Hashing? MD5, SHA, and More

Week 5 - Internet Regulation

The History of the Internet in a Nutshell
The Internet: Computer Network Hierarchy | HowStuffWorks

How big telecom smothers city run broadband
A decentralized web would give power back to the people online
Rural America Is Building Its Own Internet Because No One Else Will

Nationalize the Internet: Why the Fight for Net Neutrality Is Just the Start
Ending net neutrality will end Internet as we know it: Wozniak Copps

The coronavirus crisis proves internet should be a public utility

- (new)

Week 4 - Telecommunications Regulation

wow the TIMING: in the news this week:

Federal Communications Commission
A short history of the telephone industry and regulation
The Invisible Barbecue

AT and T

Wireless and scarcity

Week 3 - Law and Civics

Review last week's law material, and

Federal Digital Policy

New (in case you need a refresher?)

Week 2 - Intro to Info Policy

Intro to Info Policy

The Econ I'm (not) talking about
How economics became a religion

On Econ
Wealth of Networks - Benkler
The Attention Economy and the Net

On Law materials/
Transcendental Nonsense
The Law of the Horse

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