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Politics of the Internet

A Spring 2017 OOPS Course


Zeyno Ustun

technology-1 tec_estromberg | Flickr

The Internet is indeed a reflection of our times. Yet, a product of its social
and political context, the Internet was invented in 1970s for the purpose of
constructing an intelligence network that would resist a possible nuclear
attack. Although initiated by the Military-Academic-Industrial complex of
the era, the Internet we know required not only several other innovations,
material and technical, but also processes of technological and
bureaucratic standardization and internationalization carried by extra-
legal international institutions such as IEFT and ICANN as well as US-
based National Science Foundation.

Today 42% of world population are Internet users. And the Internet, no
doubt, changed the way most of us relate to the outer world and to one
another. The governance of the global Net therefore contains critical issues
in several spheres of our lives. In this undergraduate seminar we work on
the pressing political debates surrounding the governance, regulation and
resistance of the Internet. We critically examine theoretical debates about
technology, cyber-democracy, historical infrastructures, geo-politics and
state surveillance and dataveillance.

*This seminar is taught by Teaching Fellow Zeyno Ustun at Eugene Lang


College of Liberal Arts.

PART I: Invention of the Internet

Week 1 | Introduction

Mon Introduction

Wed Watch History Channel The Invention of the Internet

Week 2

Mon Abbate, Janet (1999) Inventing the Internet | Read Introduction

Wed Abbate, Janet (1999) Inventing the Internet | Read CH1: White
Heat and Cold War

Week 3

Mon Galloway, Alexander (2004) Protocol How Control Exists after


Decentralization | Read Introduction

Wed Galloway, Alexander (2004) Protocol How Control Exists after


Decentralization | Read CH1:Physical Media

Week 4

Mon Medina, Eden (2011) Cybernetic Revolutionaries Technology and


Politics in Allendes Chile | Read Introduction: Political and
Technological Visions & Conclusion: Technology, Politics, History

Wed Watch Eyewar (2013)

PART II: Social and Political Context of Early Networks


Week 5

Mon NO CLASS Presidents day

Wed Turner, Fred (2016) From Counterculture to Cyberculture | Read


Introduction & CH1:The Shifting Politics of the Computational
MetaphorWeek 4

Week 6

Mon Turner, Fred (2016) From Counterculture to Cyberculture | Read


CH8:The Triumph of the Network Mode

Wed Watch We Live in Public

PART III: Politics of the Cloud

Week 7

Mon Durham, John Peters (2015) The Marvellous Clouds Toward a


Philosophy of Elemental Media |Read Introduction: In Medias Res & CH
7:God and Google

Wed International Women Strike No Class

Week 8

Mon Deleuze, Gilles (1992) Postscript on the Societies of Control | Read


1-6pg

Wed Terranova, Tiziana (2004) Network Culture | Read Introduction


and CH1: Three Propositions on Informational Cultures

Week 9

Mon NO CLASS Spring Break

Wed NO CLASS Spring Break


Week 10

Mon Bratton, Benjamin (2016) The Black Stack | Read http://www.e-


flux.com/journal/53/59883/the-black-stack/

Wed Pasquale, Frank (2015) The Black Box Society:The Secret


Algorithms That Control Money and Information | Read CH1:The Need
to Know

PART IV: Political Action on the Internet

Week 11

Mon Critical Art Ensemble Digital Resistance (2000) Explorations in


Tactical Media | Read: Introduction & Electronic Civil Disobedience,
Simulation, and the Public Sphere

Wed Wolfson, Todd (2014) Digital Rebellion: The Birth of the Cyber Left
| Read: Introduction and CH1

Week 12

Mon Castells, Manuel (2012) Networks of Outrage and Hope Social


Movements in the Internet Age | Read: Introduction and Conclusion

Wed Gerbaudo, Paolo (2013) Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and
Contemporary Activism | Read: Introduction and CH1

Week 13

Mon Philip N. Howard (2010) The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and


Democracy Information Technology and Political Islam | Read:
Intorduction & Conclusion

Wed Watch Killswitch (2014)

Week 14

Mon Nick Dyer Witheford Cyberproletariat: Global Labour in the


Digital Vortex | Read: Introduction and CH1

Wed Bifo Berardi After the Future Read Introduction- CH 1

Week 15

Mon Guest Lecturer Burak Arikan Data Assymetry | Read:


https://github.com/chootka/radical-networks/issues/59

Wed The End of Semester