Internet Law and Regulation

Module code: M3111
Level 6
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

This 15-credit module will introduce you over the term to the legal issues raised by the internet. The module will begin with a discussion of the various schools of thought about the application of law to the internet. It will also familiarise you with the history of communications legislation in the United Kingdom, as well as essential case law. You will be made familiar with the dual role of communications network users as both consumers and citizens and the economic and human rights arguments pertinent to each category. This will prepare you for later discussion of the case law and legislation of the European Union and the Council of Europe, as well as comparative analysis of US legislation and case law. The relevant domestic, European and international laws will be scrutinised so that you will gain an understanding of the major regulatory regimes applicable to the internet.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the competing philosophical perspectives on the application of law to the Internet.
  • Evidence a deep understanding of the engineering approach to Internet regulation, and how the Internet has been re-engineered to incorporate changes to the application of the law.
  • Demonstrate in-depth recognition of how the laws that pertain to the regulation of the Internet reflect both engineering and rights-based (such as privacy and freedom of expression) issues.
  • Demonstrate an applied knowledge of the concept of `Internet Service Provider┬┐ (ISP), the solution to liability concerns for different categories of ISPs, and the enforcement of content laws to the various categories of ISP.