School of Engineering and Applied Science
Department of Computer Science
CSci 110 -- Technology and Society
Prof. Michael B. Feldman, course instructor

Week 3: Free Speech and the Internet


Regulating the Internet:

Baase, chapt. 5; Spinello/Tavani, chapt. 2

Prof. Martin's Notes on Internet Regulation (PDF)

Public Attitudes about Computers:

Zoomerang Survey of Public Attitudes about Computers (please visit the link and take the survey!)

Prof. Martin's article on the 50th anniversary of ENIAC (PDF)

Designing a good web survey:

Prof. Martin's Interviewing Notes (PDF)

Prof. Martin's Survey Notes (PDF)

University of Ilinois Website on Designing Web Surveys


Current Issues Paper 1 due by Thursday 6/7

Draft survey questions due by Sunday 6/10

Learning Activities:

A. ONLINE survey (by Friday 7/21) – take computer attitude survey on Zoomerang to see and discuss class results. This web-based survey is based on questions that were asked to assess the attitudes about computers by the general public in 1961, 1971 and in 1983 and 1991. A version of this survey was also used to compare the attitudes of US and Russian citizens in 1988 and the attitudes of US and Russian children in 1990. Please take the survey to determine your attitudes about computers today!

Prof. Martin published an article on this and related issues.

Taking the survey will give you an idea of the general setup at Zoomerang, which is where we'll be posting our surveys. In the Full-Class Discussion area, we'll discuss our thoughts about the form of our surveys in this course.

B. Discussion (by Sunday 6/10): Design of the survey instrument for the research project. See Full-Class Discussion area for details.

C. Discussion Area work (by Friday 6/8): Each group will discuss the question below corresponding to the group number in the DISCUSSIONS AREA:

GROUP 1. Your group represents a non-profit advocacy group called Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) concerned with free speech issues. Develop a model of Internet governance that would provide maximum protection of free speech on the Internet.

GROUP 2. Your group represents a non-profit group called the Internet Content Rating Association ( ICRA) concerned about the protection of children from pornography and child predators. Develop a mode for Internet governance that would provide maximum protection of young children using the Internet.

Other scenarios to think about ...
**Your group represents a trade association of software companies called Software Publishers Association (SPA) that develop products for e-commerce. Develop a model of Internet governance that would promote maximum protection for companies wanting to conduct commerce over the Internet.

** Your group represents the government of a small, very traditional country that is just allowing its citizens to come on line. Develop a model of Internet governance that would provide you with the ability to control what your citizens accessed online.

** Your group represents the American Library Association (ALA), which has been very conflicted about what position to take on providing content filters on computers in library areas accessed by small children. Some have argued that a library should never censor information, and others have argued that libraries should not provide access to pornography to children. Develop a library policy for dealing with this dilemma.

** Your group represents the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) that is concerned about free access to marketing data in order to deliver personalized advertising to customers, which will lower the cost of goods and services sold over the Internet and help the e-commerce markets to become profitable. Develop a model of Internet governance that would provide maximum benefit to the DMA members.