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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5334M Cyberlaw: Regulation of Cyberspace

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Subhajit Basu

Taught: 1 Jan to 31 May View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Module replaces

LAW5333M Cyberlaw: Law and the Regulation of the Information Society

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The internet and networked technologies have changed the nature of our world as we experience it. So much so, that we are becoming an 'information society' in which the creation, manipulation distribution and exchange of information in its various forms has become a significant social, economic, political, cultural and legal activity. This module aims to address all policy and regulatory issues raised by the internet and technology applications enabled by the internet. The borderless nature of the internet and the possibility to transmit information quickly on a global basis has raised difficult questions of state jurisdiction and regulation which this module will explore in depth.


The aim of this module is to introduce students to the legal challenges that arise from the population of cyberspace. Upon completion of the course it is anticipated that students should be able to:
- understand the concept of technology, and its application in modern life in the shape of the Information Society;
- understand the necessity for law to adopt new strategies and perspectives in order to approach the legal implications of developments in cyberspace;
- appreciate the impact on regulation of the development of the information revolution and cyberspace and the role of the traditional concepts of public and private law, national and international law and state law and self-regulation;
- demonstrate an ability to evaluate and rank unfamiliar arguments in the light of established statute law, judicial decisions and authoritative legal commentary;
- encourage critical study of the law in context, and to develop analytical skills.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module the students will be expected to have a thorough understanding of the legal and policy issues which are intimately connected with the regulation of information society.

Skills outcomes
- Draw on skills developed in the retrieval, collation, and presentation of information (communication)
- Draw on analytical skills developed in the comparative understanding of concepts (problem solving)
- Critically read and comparatively evaluate literature (learning to learn)


1. Introduction to the possibilities and challenges of the Information Society
What is the internet and what aspects of IT have produced the basis of the EU programme dedicated to building an 'information society' . We look briefly at the technical side of the internet and the potential legal problems arising from the internet. We will also look at the wider attempts to build information societies – for example the World Summit on Information Society:

2. Governing the Internet: Who should govern the (global) Internet?
Governance in cyberspace is a wide open area of controversy with much uncharted direction, obscure questions and many unresolved issues. How should cyberspace be governed? Where should the power of governance lie? Is it possible to adopt rules of governance which are acceptable to all users of the Internet?

3. Data Protection and State Surveillance
In the Information society, personal data becomes a commodity. It is also the case that communication of information becomes enhanced – a private email can be quickly passed across the world. In this lecture we look at the some of the problems caused by these kinds of transformations of the nature of information. We also look at what is omitted from Data Protection – the needs of the State to observe its populations.

4. Privacy and Freedom of Expression
In this session we look at attempts to legislate for privacy and its related opposite, freedom of expression. Europe is particularly divided on this topic and the US is even more divergent from Europe. What are the laws and policies that create the right of (and protect) privacy and freedom of expression in the Information Society?

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours135.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

The students will be expected in assessed work to argue for their position rather than list detail, and the marking of assessed work will clearly reward good and well developed argument, hence they will be required to carry out independent research and develop their own critical thinking rather than agreeing to opinion biased towards particular views.

50 hours - 10 hours reading and reflection following each lecture.
50 hours - preparation for writing essay
35 hours - other study time

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The module will be assessed through 1 x 4,000 word essay.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 10/08/2020 09:50:05


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