Security, Power, and the Internet

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Spring 2014 Reading Group
Meets: W 5:00pm - 7:00pm in WCC Room 4057
1 classroom credit

We'll explore how the Internet affects power, and how power affects the Internet. By "power" I mean something very general: institutional power such as governments and large corporations, and distributed power such as criminals and dissident groups. Topics will include:

  • technologies of social control: surveillance, censorship, propaganda, and use control
  • technologies of evading the same
  • the social value of breaking the rules
  • the metaphor of data as pollution, and the public good from data sharing versus the individual interest of data privacy: security data, health data, education data, behavioral data, etc.
  • changing societal norms and how different power groups influence them
  • anything else we find interesting.

This builds on much of my writing on NSA surveillance, as well as the talk I gave at TEDxCambridge in September, available here.

I also have a 3000-word essay on this, available here.

Prerequisite: Faculty permission is required for enrollment. Please send Bruce Schneier (schneier@schneier.com) your CV and a short statement of interest by December 1, 2013.

Cross-registrants are welcome to apply.

This reading group will meet on the following dates: 1/29, 2/19, 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, and 4/23.

Mr. Schneier is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

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