Teaching and Learning Resources

Centre for Communication Governance

Webworks by webcontxt

The Internet


Curator: Sarvatrajit Singh, Student, B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), National Law University, Delhi

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I.  How does the Internet Work

a. Text: Jonathan Strickland,How does the Internet work?, howstuffworks.com, 7 May 2010.

The webpage provides a non-technical explanation of how the internet works in a nutshell. While it does not explain the history behind the internet, it breaks down the technical jargon of protocols, packets and IP addresses.

b. Text: Network Working Group,FYI on “What is the Internet?” Request for Comments 1462, May 1993.

Request for Comments (RFCs) are published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Internet Society. These are authored by engineers and scientists. The webpage comprehensively addresses the question of what the internet is and how it works from a technical standpoint. It also attempts to answer questions like ‘Who governs the Internet?’, ‘Who Pays for it?’ and ‘What this means for me?’.

c. Video: Jonathan Zittrain,Jonathan Zittrain on How the Internet Works, iLaw 2004, Youtube

In this video Jonathan Zittrain explains the working of the Internet while drawing an analogy with the US Postal Service. It explains how the internet operates within a network where packets like parcels are transferred from one hub to another.

d. Text: Andrew Blum, Tubes: A Journey to the Centre of the Internet, ‘Prologue’ 4-10, Chapter 1(‘Maps’) 18-34

e. History of the Internet:

i. Interactive Multimedia: Simon Jeffery et. al.,When was the Internet invented? A People’s history of the internet – A people’s history of the internet, The Guardian, October 23, 2009.

ii. Text: Jack Goldsmith & Tim Wu, Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World (2006) Chapters 2, 3, 4 pp 13-63.

Goldsmith and Wu provide a detailed narrative of the evolution of the Internet from its early days through 1990s. In these chapters, the authors discuss the different roles played prominent individuals such as John Perry Barlow, Jon Postel, Julian Dibbell, Vinton Cerf etc. in initiating a movement against governmental control of the Internet and introducing the idea of a borderless network. In Chapter 4, the authors discuss those aspects of Internet’s architecture which allows states to maintain territorial control.

iii. Katie Hafner & Matthew Iyon, Where wizards stay up late: The Origins of the Internet (1996).

iv. Tim Berners Lee, Weaving the Web: The original design and ultimate destiny of the World Wide Web, by its inventor (1999).

iii. Video: Melih Bilgil,History of the Internet, Youtube, January 4, 2009.

iv. Text: Country Specific Histories:

a) Australia – Roger Clarke,Origins and Nature of the Internet in Australia, January 29, 2004

b) Australia – Jennie Sinclair,It Started with a Ping, June 22, 1999.

c) Finland – “History of the Internet in Finland”         http://www.isoc.fi/internet/internethistory_finland.html

d) India – Peter Wolcott & Seymour Goodman,Is the Elephant Learning to Dance?: The Diffusion of the Internet in the Republic of India, Chapter 2 & 3 (2002).

This article explains the growth of communication systems in India followed by the emergence of the Internet phenomenon. The authors have also discussed the various policies followed the government which transformed the telecommunications industry in India and led to the expansion of the Internet.

e) Russia,Chronology of the Russian Internet: 1990-1999, Compiled by Eugene Gorny (in Russian).

f) South Africa – Quinton Bronkhorst,The History of the Internet in South Africa – How it began, September 24, 2011

g) UK – Peter Kirstein,Early Experiences with the ARPANET and INTERNET in the UK

f. Text: Alex Simonelis,A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies, Ubiquity: Information Everywhere, February 2005.

II. Governing the Internet

a. Text: John Perry Barlow,Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, February 8, 1996.

b. Text: Milton Mueller, Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance, MIT Press (2010), Chapter 11, ‘Ideologies and Visions’, 253-271.

c. Audio:  Gerry Bayne,Internet Governance, Educase, November 22, 2013.

d. Text: Jeremy Malcom, Multi-stakeholder governance and the Internet Governance Forum, Chapter 5, pp321- 412, Terminus Press (2008).

e. Text: Lawrence Lessig, Codev2 (2006).

f. Text: David R. Johnson & David Post, Law and Borders- The Rise of Law in Cyberspace, 48 Stanford Law Review, 1367- 1402 (1995).

g. Text: Joel R. Reidenberg, Lex Informatica: The Formulation of Information Policy Rules Through Technology, 76(3) Texas Law Review 553.

h. Text: Jack Goldsmith & Tim Wu, Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World (2006) Chapters

i. Text: James Grimmelmann, Sealand, HavenCo, and the Rule of Law, 2012 (2) U. Illinois Law Review 405 (2012).

j. Text: Laura DeNardis, The Emerging Field of Internet Governance, in The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies, William H. Dutton (ed.), Chapter 26 (2013).

k. Text: Dr Jovan Kurbalija, An Introduction to Internet Governance (2012)

l. Text: Laura De Nardis, Internet Points of Control as Global Governance, Internet Governance Papers, Paper No. 2, August 2013.

m. Text: William J. Drake, ed. Reforming Internet Governance: Perspectives from the UN Working Group on Internet Governance, United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Task Force, 2005.

n. Text: William J. Drake, ed. Internet Governance: Creating Opportunities for All—The Fourth Internet Governance Forum, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, 15-18 November 2009, The United Nations, 2010.

o. Text: William J. Drake, Refraining Internet Governance Discourse: Fifteen Baseline Propositions, in Internet Governance: A Grand Collaboration, Don MacLean (ed.) United Nations Information and Communication Technology, 2004.

p. Text: Jeanette Hofmann, Internet Governance: A Regulative Idea in Flux, in Internet Governance: An Introduction, Ravi Kumar Jain (ed.), Icfai University Press, 2009.

q. Text: Andrew Murray, The Regulation of Cyberspace: Control in the Online Environment, Routledge, 2007.

r. Text: Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, The Shape of Governance: Analyzing the World of Internet Regulation, 43 Virginia Journal of International Law 605 (2003).

s. Text: Commission on Science and Technology for Development Secretariat, The mapping of international Internet public policy issues, Intersessional Panel on the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, November 2014.

III. Intermediaries and Blocking Speech

a. Text: Rishab Dara,Intermediary Liability in India: Chilling Effects on Free Expression on the Internet, April 27, 2012.

b. Case:Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997)

c. Text:General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, UN Doc. CCPR/C/GC/34 (2011).

d. Text: Frank La Rue,Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, UN Doc. A/HRC/17/27 (2011).

e. Text: Centre for Democracy and Technology,Shielding the Messenger: Protecting Platforms for Expression and Innovation (2012)

f. Text: Seth F. Kreimer, Censorship by Proxy: The first amendment, internet intermediaries and the problem of the weakest link, 155 University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 11-46 (2006).

g. Text: Felix T Wu, Collateral Censorship and the Limits of Intermediary Immunity, 87 Notre Dame Law Review 293 (2011-2012).

h. Text: Yochai Benkler, A Free Irresponsible Press: Wikileaks and theBattle Over the Soul of the Networked Fourth Estate, 46 Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review 311 (2011).

IV. Right to Anonymity

a. Text: Victoria Smith Ekstrand, Unmasking Jane and John Doe: Online Anonymity and the First Amendment, 8(4) Communication Law and Policy 405 (2003).

V. Internet Neutrality

a. Text: Cameron Lawrence,The Net Neutrality Primer, howstuffworks.com, July 17, 2006.

b. Text: Tim Wu,Why You Should Care About Network Neutrality: The future of the internet depends on it!, Slate Magazine, May 1, 2006.

c. Text: Tim Wu,Network Neutrality, Broadband discrimination,2Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law  141 (2003).

d. Text: Tim Wu,The Coming War Over Net Neutrality, The New Yorker, 3 May 2013.

e. Text: Christopher S. Yoo, Would Mandating Broadband Network Neutrality Help or Hurt Competition? A Comment on the End-to-End Debate, 3 Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law 71 (2004).

f. Text: Tim Wu & Christopher Yoo,Keeping the Internet Neutral?: Tim Wu and Christopher Yoo Debate, 59(3) Federal Communications Law Journal 575 (2007).

g. Text: Mark A. Lemly & Lawrence Lessig,The End of End-to-End: Preserving the Architecture of the Internet in the Broadband Era, 48 UCLA Law Review 925 (2001).

h. Text: European Parliament, Network Neutrality: Challenges and responses in the EU and in the US, Study by the Directorate-General for Internal Policies, 47-60 (May 2011).

i. Text:Appropriate Framework for Broadband Access to the Internet over Wireline Facilities, 20 F.C.C.R. 14986, 14988 (2005) (popularly referred to as the ‘FCC Internet Policy Statement’)

j. Text: Edward W. Felten, Nuts and Bolts of Network Neutrality, July 6, 2006,

j. Instances and Cases

i. Jon Healey,AT&T drops Pearl Jam’s call, Los Angeles Times, Blogs, August 8, 2007.

ii. Adam Liptak,Verizon Rejects Text Messages From An Abortion Rights Group, N.Y.

TIMES, Sept. 27, 2007.

Verizon disallowed the transmission of text messages from an abortion rights group to its subscribers across the Verizon mobile network.

iii. Ernesto,Comcast Throttles BitTorrent Traffic, Seeding Impossible, August 17, 2007

iv. Free Press and Public Knowledge Against Comcast Corporation, Memorandum Opinion and Order, Federal Communications Commission, August 20, 2008.

v. Madison River Communications,Consent Decree, 20 F.C.C.R. 4295, 4297 (2005)

Madison River Communications, a US network provider, was charged by the FCC for deliberately blocking ports on its network used by Vonage Corporation to deliver voice over Internet Protocol (VolP) service to its users. Ultimately, Madison River had to sign a consent decree with the FCC promising not to block these ports in the future and to pay a small fine of $15,000.

vi. Comcast v. FCC, No. 08-1291 (Fed. Cir. 2010).

VI. Right to Privacy and the Internet

a. Text: Daniel Solove, A Taxonomy of Privacy, 154 University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 477-560, (2006).

b. Text: Helen Nissenbaum, Privacy in context of technology, policy and the integrity of Social Life, Stanford Law books, pp 1-17, 127-157 (2009).

c. Text: Seth F. Kreimer, Censorship by Proxy: The first amendment, internet intermediaries and the problem of the weakest link, 155 University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 11-46 (2006).

d. Text: James Grimmelmann, Saving Facebook, 94 Iowa Law Review 1137- 1206 (2009).

f. Text: Omer Tene, What Google knows: Privacy and Internet Search Engines, 4 Utah Law Review, 1433-1492 (2008).

g. Text: Abramham L. Newman, Protectors of Privacy: Regulating Personal Data in the Global Economy, Chapter 2 & 3 (2008).

h. Text: Frederick Schauer, Internet Privacy and the Public-Private Distinction, 38 Jurimetrics Journal 555 (1998).

i. Text: Felix T. Wu, Defining Privacy and Utility in Data Sets, 84 University of Colorado Law Review 1117 (2013).

VII. Surveillance

a. Text: Viktor Mayer-Schonberger & Kenneth Cukier, Big Data, Chapter 1 & 2, Houghtin Mufflin Harcourt Publishing Company (2013).

b. Text: Christopher Soghoian,An End to Privacy Theater: Exposing and Discouraging Corporate Disclosure of User Data to the Government (2010).

VIII. Our relationship with the Internet

a. Text: Jonathan Zittrain,The Generative Internet, 119 Harvard Law Review 1974, May 2006.

b. Text: Paul Miller, I’m leaving the Internet for a year, The Verge, April 30, 2012.

c. Text: Paul Miller,I’m still here: back online after a year without the Internet, The Verge, May 1, 2013.

IX. Indian Perspective

a. Case Law

i.  Jurisdiction:

1) Banyan Tree Holding Limited v. A Murali Krishna Reddy & Anr, 2008 (38) PTC 288 (Del).

2) Sholay Media Entrtainment & Anr v. Yogesh Patel And Others, C.S. (OS) 1714/2001 decided on 27.01.2010.

3) (India TV) Independent News v. India Broadcast Live LLC And Ors, 2007 (35) PTC 177 (Del).

ii. Intermediary Liability

1) Avinash Bajaj v. State (NCT) of Delhi, 116 (2005) DLT 427.

2) Google India Pvt. Ltd., vs M/S.Visaka Industries Limited Criminal Petition No. 7207 of 2009.

3) Super Cassetes Industries Ltd. vs Myspace Inc. & Another, 2011(48) PTC 49 (Del).

iii. Privacy

1) People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India & Anr(1997) 1 SCC 301.

2) District Registrar and Collector, Hyderabad Vs. Canara Bank (2005) 1 SCC 496.

3) Amar Singh Vs. Union of India (2011) 1 SCC 210.

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