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Center plans bold approach in technology governance curriculum | Nebraska Today

Beginning in the fall semester of 2021, the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center will offer new technology governance curriculum. The classes are taught in the College of Law but are open to all graduate students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, acknowledging the interdisciplinary nature of technology.

This curriculum is designed to be integrated and modular. Students are free to take any selection of classes but the classes are designed to consciously complement each other. The cornerstone of the curriculum is the three-week “Concepts” class, which is a pre-requisite to all other technology governance instruction.

Other than the Concepts class, which is offered in a three-week block at the beginning of each semester, these classes are offered in 6-week blocks. The Technology Governance Curriculum is made up of the following classes:

Technology Governance and Regulation: Concepts (spring and fall): This course serves as a foundation for other courses in the technology governance curriculum, introducing foundational legal, technical, and regulatory concepts in a manner accessible to all students. It is offered twice a year, at the beginning of, and sometimes before the start of, each semester.

Cyberlaw: Jurisdiction and Laws Governing Users (fall): This course explores a wide range of legal issues in the online context and their real-world consequences. The course focuses on how the law applies and affects users and organizations. Sample topics include: jurisdictional and international issues; a set of specific statutory and Constitutional issues such as Section 230 and search warrants; encryption and intellectual property.

Platforms: Networks and Infrastructure (fall): This course introduces students to the legal, policy, economic, and technological issues surrounding the regulation of communications networks and infrastructure. It is structured primarily around the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and covers topics including regulation of broadcast radio and television, cable and satellite television, the telephone network, cellular and wireless communications, and the Internet.

Platforms: Speech and Media (fall): This course deals with content governance in both online and more traditional media. It covers a range of constitutional and statutory issues relating to online speech, including the law of incitement, hate speech, pornography, and misinformation, and examines the role of privately-owned online platforms (including online platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and “traditional” platforms such a newspapers and radio broadcasters) in regulating this speech through private governance.

Privacy: Informational, Reputational, and Dignitary Harms (spring): This course covers the laws and regulations that govern information privacy in the United States and around the world and the struggles of protecting individual privacy in the modern era. A central focus is on the meaning of informational, reputational, and dignitary harms.

Cybersecurity and Sectoral Data Regulation (spring): This course covers the various legal frameworks that govern data- and cybersecurity, such as data breach notification laws, regulatory data security requirements such as contained in HIPAA and GLBA, and the patchwork of statute and common law tools available for addressing cybersecurity concerns. It also prepares students to interact with professionals in other fields relevant to cybersecurity practice, and broader policy discussions about cybersecurity law and policy.

For further information or questions, contact Elsbeth Magilton, the center’s executive director, at elsbeth@unl.edu.

Learn more about the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center and its innovative curriculum.

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