Wiretaps to Big Data: Privacy and Surveillance in the Age of Interconnection

Explore the privacy issues of an interconnected world. Is Wiretaps to Big Data: Privacy and Surveillance in the Age of Interconnection real? How does cellular technology enable massive surveillance? Do users have rights against surveillance? How does surveillance affect how we use cellular and other technologies? How does it affect our democratic institutions? Do you know that the metadata collected by a cellular network speaks volumes about its users? In this course you will explore all of these questions while investigating related issues in WiFi and Internet surveillance. The issues explored in this course are at the intersection of networking technology, law, and sociology and will appeal to anyone interested in the technical, political, and moral questions inherent in the use of information networks. The course will include broad overviews for the novice, while pointing to the detailed resources needed for those engaged in the development of corporate or governmental policies.

Course syllabus:

  1. The basic function of cellular telephone networks, WiFi, and other networking technologies

  2. The evolution of privacy rights through the U.S. constitution's 4th amendment, particularly as applied to content and context surveillance

  3. Types of cryptography used to secure wired and wireless networks

  4. The implications of different forms of surveillance and their impact on an individual's privacy in society

  5. Contemporary surveillance and security decisions/laws

  6. How to apply ethical thinking and judgment to a wide range of privacy and surveillance situations

  7. The impact of using complex and powerful technologies to collect personal data on individuals, corporations, markets, and societies