CS 203 and STS

T/TH 2:15-3:30

Gates B12

3 Credits

Letter or Credit/No Credit

Lauren Gelman

Visiting Lecturer, Stanford School of Engineering

and Associate Director, Center for Internet and Society

Stanford Law School




(650) 724-3358

Room 12A in Stanford Law School

Office Hours: Tuesdays 3:30-4:30 or by appointment



This course will teach students how the policymaking process works, and how they can participate in cyberlaw-making.  The class will consist of six modules that cover each of the main avenues for participation in the policymaking process-- legislative, judiciary, executive agency, organization advocacy, in-house, and media-- teaching how those systems work, and using appropriate substantive cyber law topics as case studies for how technologists and scientists have used their particular skills to effect change.


This class is designed for both techies and fuzzies :-). I anticipate there will be computer science and engineering students, pre-law, and science and society students in the class.



For students taking this class for a grade, a 48-hour take-home open book exam will be distributed during the exam period.  It will consist of a number of issue spotting-type hypotheticals and questions that will require you to demonstrate in your answers an understanding of the substantive issues covered, as well as skills learned during the course. This DOES NOT mean you are to spend 48 hours on the exam.  It is just meant to give you a chance to read it, think about it, and then write your answers.  You should only spend 3-4 hours writing your answers.  The last day of class we will walk through a mock exam so you will understand exactly what is expected.


The exam will be 60% of the grade.  20% of the grade will be based on a brief writing assignment at the end of each module (students can choose to respond to three of six assignments), and 20% will be class participation.  If you attend and participate in class and complete the required assignments and exam in a timely manner, I anticipate you will get a good grade in this class.


For students taking the class for credit/no credit, you are expected to attend and participate in class.  To make up for missed classes, you must do one of the five writing assignments per two missed classes (allowing leeway to miss one class) to receive ‘credit.’


Most readings will be available on the web.  I will occasionally hand out additional readings.  The syllabus is not complete, as it is my intention to keep the course and readingsup to date, and modify the amount of readings to work best with your schedules.  You will be told all the required reading at least one week prior to each class.


Writing Assigments: After each module, I will hand-out a writing assignment.  They will consist of a hypothetical followed by some questions, giving you an opportunity to test out the skills learned.  For example, after the Legislative branch module, the assignment might be to write a letter to Congress on a current issue.  Each writing assignment should be two pages double space and students will receive 1 point for handing it in late, 2 points for handing it in on time, and 3 points for a thoughtful response.














Topic: Welcome

About the Instructor

About the Class

Overview of interaction of Law and Technology






I. Legislative Branch





Topic: How the Legislative Branch Works


Overview of how a bill becomes a law.

Committee structure


Legislative history

How to research legislation

How to write a letter to Congress

How to draft testimony to Congress




Handout- Introduction to Legislation





Topic: Induce Act


How to read legislation

How to understand the differences in different versions of legislation

How to read and write testimony



For class from reading:

Think about how the three proposals you read are different

*Find and Read Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act of 2004

*Find and Read the Copyright office’s proposed revision

* Find and Read the proposed revision promoted by Public Knowledge and other organizations.


*Read this article:


*Find the website for the Judiciary Committee hearing discussed in the article (“Protecting Innovation and Art while Preventing Piracy”) and read two of the testimony transcripts available there.




Topic: Spam


Understanding the relationship between the technology and the law.


For class from reading:

Think about the difference between the legal and technical solutions and which you think is best.

The Law: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:s.00877:

FTC announcement:


USACM letter: http://www.acm.org/usacm/Letters/spam_letter.htm

MSFT letter:



Lessig and Jacob Proposals:


II. Judicial







How the Court system works

Miguel A. Mendez, Evidence: The California Code and the Federal Rules (3d ed.). Chapter 16.

Kumho Tire, 526 U.S. 137 (1999).

Susan Haack, "An Epistemologist in the Bramble-Bush," 26 Journal of  Health Politics, Policy and Law 217 (2001).



DMCA/ Code as Speech:
Guest Speaker Cindy Cohn Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Look at how the expert testimony was used in the final decision.  Was
it useful?

4th, 5th and 6th days of trial transcripts from the 2600 case
available at: http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/MPAA_DVD_cases/

The decision:

Bernstein v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 176 F.3d 1132 (9th Cir. 1999)





DirecTV v. Treworgy, Ordering dismissal of §2512 claim, filed in the  Middle District of Florida Fort Myers Division, Judge John E. Steele  (August 8, 2003). Case #2:03-cv-428-FtM-29SPC.

DirecTV v. Treworgy The DirecTV appellant brief appealing the order  granting Treworgy's motion to dismiss count III (December 5, 2003). Case #2:03-cv-428-FtM-29SPC.

DirecTV v. Treworgy The DirecTV appellee brief on the appeal of the  order granting Treworgy's motion to dismiss count III (January 5,  2004). Case #2:03-cv-428-FtM-29SPC.

DirecTV v. Treworgy - EFF Amicus supporting appellee Treworgy on his motion to dismiss count III (January 12, 2004). Case

DirecTV v. Treworgy Amicus supporting DirecTV appellant brief
appealing the order granting Treworgy's motion to dismiss count III  (December 17, 2003). Case #2:03-cv-428-FtM-29SPC.

DirecTV v. Treworgy, Appellant Reply Brief to Amicus. US District  Court Middle District of Florida Ft. Myers Division. (January 22,  2004) Case No. 2:03-CV-428-FTM-29SPC.

DirectTV v. Trone, Deposition of Kevin Izadshenas (September 10, 2002).

III. Executive Branch





How the Executive Branch and Agencies Work.

Bernard Shaw. Administrative Law. (hand-out)




NPRM, and the comments by EFF and the Comments and Reply comments of NTIA.


Broadcast Flag

Read the NPRM: MB Docket No. 02-230 (search for it on the FCC website.)

Implications of the Broadcast Flag: A Public Interest Primer, March 12, 2004

Sarala- ALA, et al. v. FCC.
Dale- What happened in the prior "plug and play" proceeding?
Naree- Comments of American Antitrust Institute and Microsoft Corporation.
Will- Comments of Public Knowledge and Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Chee Han- Comments of Consumer Electronics Association and Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition and Technology Companies.
Alissa- Comments of MPAA and Recording Industry Association of America, Inc.
Phil- Comments of Philips Electronics North America Corporation and Genesis Michrochip.
Will R- what is the proposal of the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group (BPDG)/ mythTV project?
Dan Stringer- Comments of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball et al. and the Digital Transmission Licensing Administrator LLC.
Justin- Comments of TIVO, and other approved technologies .
Matt- Individual Letters: 1/16 and 23/04 and some from 12/19/03.
Eser-Comments of Time Warner Inc. and DirecTV.
Steve Z- back-up

IV. Advocacy






How Washington Works.




Guest Speaker

David Dill, Stanford CS Professor and Founder verifiedvoting.com

Verified Voting Web Site
E-voting Experts
ACM E-Voting Page
EFF E-voting Page
CalVoter Foundation
League of Women Voters

what are each of these organizatiuons doing about E-Voting? How does what they are doing tie-in to who they are? What is the argument for electronic voting?


The Association for Computing

Feldblum Article (handout) plus:

Sarala- Offshore/Outsourcing
Eser-Encryption/Nat'l ID.
Naree- Internet Governance.
Will- SPAM.
Chee Han-Database Protection
Alissa- Reverse Engineering and Security
Will R- Copyright- DRM/P2P

Dan Stringer- H-1B/ L-1 Visas
Justin- Electric Reliability
Phil- Induce

Matt- AAAS- Public Policy (Congress)
Dale- CRA- Cybersecurity R&D
Steve- CRA- Information security R&D

Read all the work that your organization has done on your assigned issue. Learn all the counters to those arguments (requires additional research) and be able to discuss (1) why they care about that issue (2) what their perspective is (3) how that relates to why the care (4) what have they done to promote their perspective (5) what other people have been for/against their side (6) any final outcome on the issues.

V. General Counsel’s office







Hypotheticals on interacting with in-house counsel

Review compliance materials. Be very prepared to answer questions based on them.

VI. Media training


Preparing for the Media

Guest Speaker
Dawn Levy, Stanford News


Mock Interviews

with guests Kim Zetter from Wired News and Kevin Poulsen from SecurityFocus

VII. Putting it all together

Mock Exam handout
Guest Speaker Lawrence Lessig


Mock Exam





CS 203
Assignment 1
Due 10/19

You recently heard that Congress was considering legislation to  regulate so-called spyware-- computer software that secretly collects
and uses personal information.  Rumor has it that there are multiple bills, each in various stages of the legislative process, each
regulating spyware in a different manner.

Write a letter to your congressperson expressing your views on the  bills. Include who you are and any particular expertise you might
have to offer.  Demonstrate that you understand what the bills do and how they are different.  Explain whether you support or oppose each
and why.  The letter should be addressed formally to your
congressperson 's office, and to the attention of the staffer who is
covering this issue for your
congressperson (hint-this will require some research; perhaps a phone call).


Assignment 2

Due 10/28

You have been approached by a lawyer from the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"). She is investigating possible claims if HR 2929 ("The Spy Act"), passed by the House of Representatives, becomes law. One option the Agency is considering is pursuing a cause of action against Google's new desktop search tool "Google Desktop." She read this article: http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/9952488.htm and wants to determine if the claim that the new Google tool is spyware is valid.

She would like you to draft a 2-3 page declaration explaining, as a technical expert, what the tool does. Of course, you will need to understandwhat the Bill prohibits in order to know what technical matters are relevant.

She suggests that you take a look at the declarations from the Bernstein 'code is speech' case, particularly the declarations of: Hal Abelson, Andrew Appel, Matt Bishop, Matt Blaze, Carl Ellison, Paul Ginsparg, Bruce Scheier, or Richard Stallman., which are online at: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Crypto_export/Bernstein_case/Legal/960726_filing/index.html

You should first describe who you are and your qualifications to provide this information to the Court. Then discuss the technology. Use the numbered line format you see in the examples.

If you do not feel qualified to participate in the case as a technical expert (you are a fuzzie, not a techie), instead draft a legal memo to the lawyer, explaining what the law does, and, in layman's terms, how the Google technology would have to work in order for Google to be successfully sued under this statute. An example of such a memo is the legal analysis here: http://DirecTVDefense.org/law/ (though yours should be about 2-3 pages).


Assignment 3

Due 11/9

You are the newest public policy analyst for the Association for Computing Machinery's US public policy committee (USACM). Write a memo for the members of the committee (mostly computer scientists) (1) explaining an issue the FCC is currently accepting comment on that you believe USACM should get involved in; (2) include a detailed outline for comments you believe the Committee should submit on the issue; and (3) draft a one-page comment that USACM can post for its members to send to the FCC if they choose.

*** do not choose an issue we discussed in class!


Assignment 4

Due 11/16

Draft a 5 page memo to Professor David Dill and to the Executive Director of VerifiedVoting.org proposing a post-election strategy for the organization. Describe briefly what you believe their core competence is and how they can maximize that. Then include specific suggestionscon areas such as messaging (how to frame the debate), projects (think of all the types of advocacycbut DO NOT LIST IDEAS, BE SPECIFIC) , issues (How broadly should they define their mission?), etc. Point them to other organization's efforts where appropriate. Be creative, but realistic in your suggestions. Remember who the audience is (not me), so do not try to demonstrate how much you learned in class.


Assignment 5
Due 11/23

You are an engineer at a start-up-TIVO-TO-GO- that is building a digital radio for the car with built in DVR capability.  Your  business development team sees two additional uses for your device. (1) It could be used to broadcast 'Amber Alerts' and any other information the cops deem 'important' to law enforcement needs.  (2)  It could be used to surreptitiously record conversations in the car to be stored on the DVR hard-drive and retrieved by the cops at a later date.  This way, they can record the conversations when they need them, and later ask the court for a warrant if they really want to listen to them.

Your General Counsel is uncertain about whether you should build this capability in. Write a 3-5- page memo giving your best legal, technical, and business reasons why you should or should not build it in, and then describe SPECIFICALLY how you propose to design the device to best comport with the level of compliance you propose to achieve.   Think about all the reasons we discussed in class for why businesses make different decisions on when to press the law and when not to.