The Future of the Internet: A New Stanford Course

Here is a new and free course to come out of a Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty pro­gram that (full dis­clo­sure) I help orga­nize. It’s called The Future of the Inter­net: Archi­tec­ture and Pol­i­cy (iTunes), and it’s taught by Ramesh Johari. The course, designed for non-techies, gets into the impor­tant ques­tion of whether the inter­net will remain “neu­tral” and freely avail­able to you and me. This course will appeal to any­one who has ever liked the work of Lawrence Lessig. (Please note that we’ll be rolling out a cou­ple more lec­tures in this course on a rolling basis.)

Check out the com­plete course descrip­tion below (and click here for many more free uni­ver­si­ty cours­es):

“The Inter­net today has evolved a long way from its hum­ble begin­nings as a fed­er­al­ly fund­ed research project. As a soci­ety, we find our­selves increas­ing­ly depen­dent on the Inter­net for our dai­ly rou­tine; and yet, the future of the Inter­net remains a mat­ter of vig­or­ous polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic, and aca­d­e­m­ic debate. This debate cen­ters around own­er­ship: who will own the infra­struc­ture, and who will own the con­tent that the net­work deliv­ers? Unfor­tu­nate­ly, most of this debate does not involve a sub­stan­tive dis­cus­sion of the “archi­tec­ture” of the net­work, or the role that archi­tec­tur­al design will play in shap­ing the own­er­ship of the future glob­al net­work.

This course pro­vides a non-tech­ni­cal intro­duc­tion to the archi­tec­ture of the Inter­net, present and future. Stu­dents will be tak­en on a tour through the inner work­ings of the net­work, with a view toward how these details inform the cur­rent debate about “net­work neu­tral­i­ty” and the own­er­ship of the future Inter­net.”

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