We’re at the end of the first week of Cyberlaw and the Global Economy, a course I’m teaching at Harvard Law School. Part of the idea of this course, from a pedagogical perspective, is to seek to extend the conversation outside the traditional classroom environment and onto the Net by experimenting with new technologies (students are forewarned of this experimentation early and often!). Weblogs and H2O participation earn students class participation credit. I’m interested, too, in whether people who are not enrolled in the class may pick up on the out-of-class discussion, particularly via weblog postings (made either anonymously or by attribution) by students in the class. I’ll also try to keep some simple, running notes from classes, presented as “Stories,” like this one for Class 1.0, on this weblog (linked from the far right of the page), to the extent that anyone wishes to follow along, and the syllabus is completely open.
A student in the class, Joshua Gordon, picks up where we left off at the end of Wednesday’s class and restarts the discussion about governance of the Net on a global scale. He writes, in part, “…anonymous access for citizens living under repressive regimes to outside news media sites or chat sites to communicate with each other and with the outside world may well be an aspect of the Internet worth preserving. But is a system that strikes such a balance possible from a legal or technical perspective?” Dig in.
Update: Christopher Lydon, whose most recent audio-blog is on-point, and others have weighed in on Joshua’s first post. And T-Salon puts Joshua’s question in context as one of “the set of old and rather difficult questions on policing transnational content on the net.” And Crooked Timber has a very interesting and detailed follow-up on use of blogs in classrooms, with suggestions to which I’ll definitely give further thought.