LL4S1      Half Unit

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Andrew Murray NAB 6.08

Other Staff Involved: Dr. Valerie Verdoodt NAB 7.23


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Regulation and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou. 


This course does not require an in-depth understanding of contemporary computer technology. 

Course content

This course examines and discusses topical issues in relation to the law and digital data information storage, access and exchange through digital information devices (computers, smartphones, tablets etc.). It opens by examining the issues relating to network regulation or control by addressing questions such as “can internet-enabled communications be regulated?” and “who is competent to police online content and activity?” It concludes its examination of structural controls by examining the highly topical and politically charged issue of enshrined network neutrality: by asking the question: should Internet Service Providers be allowed to vary service conditions by types of content? It will also address cutting edge issues such as algorithmic regulation, profiling, deceptive content, protection of children, influencer and advertiser regulation and “smart’ devices (Internet of Things).

Students taking the course will be expected to develop knowledge and understanding of the different values brought to bear in the regulation of new media technologies and communities formed through such technologies and the factors leading towards choices of particular values, regulatory institutions and process. Such knowledge and understanding will operate both at the theoretical level and the level of particular examples of regulatory regimes. Students will be expected to apply organisational and analytical skills to the investigation of evidence and problems and show effective communication through written work and seminar discussion. Students shall research an assessed extended essay.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Lent Term.  This year teaching will be delivered through recorded online lectures and a mix of both in-person and online classes to accommodate students who are unable to physically be on campus. This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Students should submit an essay plan and working bibliography for the assessed essay. All students are expected to contribute to a series of class and online exercises, and to submit one 2,000 word formative essay.

Indicative reading

Murray, Information Technology Law: The Law and Society (OUP, 4th ed, 2019)

Edwards (ed), Law, Policy and the Internet (Hart, 2018)                                                                                                          

Reed & Murray, Rethinking the Jurisprudence of Cybersapce (Edward Elgar, 2020)

Murray, The Regulation of Cyberspace (Routledge, 2007)

Reed, Making Laws for Cyberspace (OUP, 2012)

Lessig, Code Ver, 2.0 (Basic Books, 2006)

Zittrain, The Future of the Internet (Penguin, 2009)


Essay (100%, 8000 words) in the ST.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2019/20: 30

Average class size 2019/20: 30

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills