Law in the Internet Society

Professor Eben Moglen
Columbia Law School
Fall 2019

All work received as of January 15 has been edited. Your revisions to all work are due by end of day on February 3. If you need an extension of time until February 10, please send me email to that effect.

You are not required to revise. If you feel that your portfolio in the course is complete and you want a grade filed instantly, please email me to that effect instead.

Technology project 2: Create a GPG key and upload it to the keyservers

Details and instructions

My office hours in fall 2019 will be Wednesdays, 4:10-6pm, and Thursdays, 2pm-5pm. If you need to see me but cannot make office hours, please email or contact my assistant, Jerrica Sosa,, 212-461-1905.

On the Radar

Thompson and Warzel, Smartphones are Spies, New York Times December 20, 2019

Lora Kelley, When Big Brother Isn't Scary Enough, New York Times, November 4, 2019

Economic Times Staff, Mass Surveillance: Face Recognition in India, Economic Times, November 7, 2019

Scroll Staff, Whatsapp spyware: 14 confirmed cases,, October 31, 2019

Scroll Staff, Whatsapp spyware used on Indian activists,, October 31, 2019

Nellie Bowles, Addicted to Screens? That's Really a You Problem, New York Times, October 6, 2019

Bianca Vivion Brooks, Fear of Being Forgotten, New York Times, October 1, 2019

Jane Rosenzweig, The Whistle-Blower's Guide to Writing, New York Times, September 27, 2019

Timothy Liebert, This Article is Spying on You, New York Times, September 18, 2019

Adam Santariano, Real-Time Surveillance Will Test the British Tolerance for Cameras, New York Times, September 15, 2019

Rob Walker, There Is No Tech Backlash, New York Times, September 14, 2019

Glenn S. Gerstell, I Work for N.S.A. We Cannot Afford to Lose the Digital Revolution, New York Times, September 10, 2019

Eben Moglen and Mishi Choudhary, Zuckerberg Nobly Carries White Man's Burden: Poor Indians' Data Packets, Indian Express, October 30, 2015

Jim Dwyer, Volkswagen's Diesel Fraud Makes Critic of Secret Code a Prophet, September 22, 2015

Eben Moglen, Transcript: When Software is in Everything: Future Liability Nightmares Free Software Helps Avoid, June 30, 2010

People Love Spying On One Another: A Q & A With Facebook Critic Eben Moglen, Washington Post, November 19, 2014

Watch: IASC & the Elinor Ostrom Award, Commons In Action (2014)

atockar, Riding with the Stars: Passenger Privacy in the NYC Taxicab Dataset, Neustar Research, September 15, 2014


Introduction, Political Economy:
The Way We Live Now

Sociology, Economics, Legal Theory:
Grasping the Net

Copyright and Other Intellectual Improperty:
Anarchists, Authors, and Owners

Carriage Regulation:
Controlling the Switches

Privacy in Private and Public Law:
The State, The Spook, The Cop, Her Wife, and His Lover

Eyes Wide Shut:
Taboo Enforcement and Free Expression

Making Broadcasters Unconstitutional:
Rethinking Media Law

Electronic Democracy:
Restructuring Politics

A Word on Technology Old and New About the Word

This seminar is an attempt to learn about, understand and predict the development of law in a rapidly changing area. We must assemble the field of knowledge relevant to our questions even as we begin trying to answer them. Wiki technology is an ideal match for the work we have in hand. Below you will find an introduction to this particular wiki, or TWiki, where you can learn as much or as little about how this technology works as you want.

For now, the most important thing is just that any page of the wiki has an edit button, and your work in the course consists of writings that we will collaboratively produce here. You can make new pages, edit existing pages, attach files to any page, add links, leave comments in the comment boxes--whatever in your opinion adds to a richer dialog. During the semester I will assign writing exercises, which will also be posted here. All of everyone's work contributes to a larger and more informative whole, which is what our conversation is informed by, and helps us to understand.

Please begin by registering. I look forward to seeing you at our first meeting on the 10th.

Introduction to the LawNetSoc Web

The LawNetSoc site is a collaborative class space built on Twiki [], a free software wiki system. If this is your first time using a wiki for a long term project, or first time using a wiki at all, you might want to take a minute and look around this site. If you see something on the page that you don't know how to create in a wiki, take a look at the text that produced it using the "Edit" button at the top of each page, and feel free to try anything out in the Sandbox.

All of the Twiki documentation is also right at hand. Follow the TWiki link in the sidebar. There are a number of good tutorials and helpful FAQs there explaining the basics of what a wiki does, how to use Twiki, and how to format text.

From TWiki's point of view, this course, Law in the Internet Society, is one "web." There are other webs here: the sandbox for trying wiki experiments, for example, and my other courses, etc. You're welcome to look around in those webs too, of course. Below are some useful tools for dealing with this particular web of ours. You can see the list of recent changes, and you can arrange to be notified of changes, either by email or by RSS feed. I would strongly recommend that you sign up for one or another form of notification; if not, it is your responsibility to keep abreast of the changes yourself.

LawNetSoc Web Utilities