Wiretaps to Big Data: Privacy and Surveillance in the Age of Interconnection

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9/10 stars
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Start Date TBA
Wiretaps to Big Data: Privacy and Surveillance in the Age of Interconnection

Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22398 reviews

Course Description

How does cellular technology enable massive surveillance? Do users have rights against surveillance? How does surveillance affect how we use cellular and other technologies? How does it affect our democratic institutions? Do you know that the metadata collected by a cellular network speaks volumes about its users? In this course you will explore all of these questions while investigating related issues in WiFi and Internet surveillance. The issues explored in this course are at the intersection of networking technology, law, and sociology and will appeal to anyone interested in the technical, political, and moral questions inherent in the use of information networks. The course will include broad overviews for the novice, while pointing to the detailed resources needed for those engaged in the development of corporate or governmental policies.

FAQ

  • Is there a required textbook?

    • No. A list of supplemental resou...

How does cellular technology enable massive surveillance? Do users have rights against surveillance? How does surveillance affect how we use cellular and other technologies? How does it affect our democratic institutions? Do you know that the metadata collected by a cellular network speaks volumes about its users? In this course you will explore all of these questions while investigating related issues in WiFi and Internet surveillance. The issues explored in this course are at the intersection of networking technology, law, and sociology and will appeal to anyone interested in the technical, political, and moral questions inherent in the use of information networks. The course will include broad overviews for the novice, while pointing to the detailed resources needed for those engaged in the development of corporate or governmental policies.

FAQ

  • Is there a required textbook?

    • No. A list of supplemental resources, including textbooks, will be provided. The textbook, Cellular Convergence and the Death of Privacy, is optional.

  • How much time will I spend on the course during the week?

    • Expect to spend 4-8 hours per week. This depends on a number of factors, including how much you want to engage with the material and the level of understanding you desire.

  • Do I need to have taken an electrical and computer engineering course before?

    • No. Though there will be discussion of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) ideas, the professor will assume no prior ECE training.

  • I am not familiar with U.S. or European history but I am interested in how the law regarding cell phones works. Can I take this course?

    • Yes. I will have relevant links to helpful background material for each section that should make it possible for those with no knowledge of U.S. or European history to take the class.

  • Is this class about building a network?

    • This class is primarily about how historical privacy law has made it possible for current information technologies to be used to collect data and conduct surveillance rather than how to build a network. While the course will touch on important engineering developments and information technology uses, this class will focus more on the intersection of networking technology, law, and sociology. If you want to know how cell phones collect data and why this data can be used in court, this is the class for you.

  • Will certificates be awarded?

    • Yes. If you complete the work and achieve a passing grade in the course, you can earn a Honor Code Certificate, which indicates that you have completed the course successfully. Certificates will be issued by edX under the name of CornellX, designating the institution from which the course originated.

  • What are the learning outcomes of this course?

    • Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

      • Explain the basic function of cellular telephone networks, WiFi, and other networking technologies.

      • Explain the evolution of privacy rights through the U.S. constitution's 4th amendment, particularly as applied to content and context surveillance

      • Identify types of cryptography used to secure wired and wireless networks.

      • Consider the implications of different forms of surveillance and how they impact an individual's privacy in society.

      • Evaluate contemporary surveillance and security decisions/ laws.

      • Increase their ability to apply ethical thinking and judgment to a wide range of privacy and surveillance situations.

      • Interpret how using complex and powerful technologies to collect personal data can impact individuals, corporations, markets, and societies.
         

Reviews 9/10 stars
79 Reviews for Wiretaps to Big Data: Privacy and Surveillance in the Age of Interconnection

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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8/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 5 months ago
I thought this course was very interesting and a good exploration of privacy issues.
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10/10 starsTaking Now
4 years, 6 months ago
So interesting.
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8/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 8 months ago
It's a good course which is what I want to learn. The Professor keeps the attention very high during all the course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
Great course. Very engaging. I thought the content was very timely and presented well. My thanks to Professor Wicker and team.
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
Best MOOC ever, I'm very happy with this course. The Professor keeps the attention very high during all the course. It's very demanding but worth it.
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1/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
I have taken many MOOC's and this is the worst one. The grading system is full of glitches. Students were complaining throughout the course and getting no response. The questions tended to be opinion based so if you didn't share the opinion of Stephen Wicker you got marked wrong. I have never seen so much bias in the questions in actual university or MOOC's. The course show be retitled "Stephen Wicker's Soapbox - If you don't agree with his opinion you fail". I don't mind being tested on facts but not on my ability to guess his opinion on opinion based questions. I passed with over 80% because I was pretty good at guessing his opinion but others were frustrated at the unfairness of the process and it crushed their enthusiasm for the course so they said they were dropping it. I took another course from Cornell and had the opposite experience so I don't blame Cornell.
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3/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
Way too focussed on the American legal system. Grading glitchy and inconsistent. "Estimated effort" is too low, although some of that was wrestling with the EdX interface!
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
A very interesting, thought provoking course, particularly relevant to current items in the news re the Snowden relevations. It has certainly made me more conscious of how we are all subject to surveillance and the implications to our freedoms
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
The course provides adequate and easy to understand information without getting too technical even though lots of privacy issues are law or technology related.
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1/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
The good work done during the Course was marred by the glitches in the marking leaving many of the students disappointed. Worse, there was nobody to attend to the issues raised. Left a very sour taste indeed.
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Paul Hundal profile image
Paul Hundal profile image
6/10 starsCompleted
  • 138 reviews
  • 119 completed
5 years, 3 months ago
This course was plagued by the worst grading glitches I've seen in a MOOC & I've completed 12 MOOC's now. Thankfully they are now fixed. Fortunately the audited version of the MOOC available now shouldn't have these problems because there is no grading. The course promotes one view of the privacy debate on the privacy paranoid side of the spectrum which some people may like. However it also provides a useful background on the technology, the law, the politics and the history around broadband usage and the governments power to monitor what you do with it.
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9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
I felt this course was very well presented and the learning experience was quite satisfying. There were some technical glitches with the grading of unit questions (which kept me from rating a 5)but I believe these bugs will be worked out in time. The Prof was very committed, knowledgeable and willing to evolve the learning experience as we went. I'd highly recommend this class if you have an interest in the topic.
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
I am extremely grateful to the universities, and the people behind the scenes,for their time and effort, in making this course available. The history of the cellular revolution and the evolution of legal decisions by our higher courts was very illuminating. Knowledge is the key!
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9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
During this course had the opportunity to learn many thing I didn't know, in particular from an angle I didn't consider. It is very focused on the American tech and legal system, which interesting anyway by comparison if you happen to live elsewhere. The only (relatively) mild criticism lies in the test systems - in particular, it wasn't clear that, in multiple questions, you had to pick ALL the right answers to get the point. I undstood it (with many other people) after three week, and after that the my scoring got really better. I teach as well, so I know that you rarely get acknowledgment for the hard work which is behind the few hours of lessons, especially in case of MOOC - since you don't have direct contact with your students. This is but one letter, but I hope it makes you fell better.
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9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
very timely course in the light of our times and gives the beginner a very thorough immersion on the nice interplay of legal, policy, philosophical, sociological and psychological aspects of the issue!
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Omar Shahin profile image
Omar Shahin profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 11 months ago
Great course. An exemplary effort provided by Dr. Wicker and his staff of T.A.s. This course was a timely offering by Cornell and Dr Wicker in that it was offered at a time when questionable NSA acts had just come to light and so the news was breaking as we were learning about the several legislative and statutory elements that make up the legal definition of Privacy, surveillance, wiretapping, snooping by government... etc. You can read the course description over to the left of this review. What I would like to address in my review is the content of another review I just read. There is no denying that there were a few hick-ups along the way, and several attempts by students to manipulate the grading of the questions to their advantage by claiming that questions were ambiguous and that point assignments to particular questions was too high or too low but either way it was unfair. These hick-ups, in my opinion, were cr... Great course. An exemplary effort provided by Dr. Wicker and his staff of T.A.s. This course was a timely offering by Cornell and Dr Wicker in that it was offered at a time when questionable NSA acts had just come to light and so the news was breaking as we were learning about the several legislative and statutory elements that make up the legal definition of Privacy, surveillance, wiretapping, snooping by government... etc. You can read the course description over to the left of this review. What I would like to address in my review is the content of another review I just read. There is no denying that there were a few hick-ups along the way, and several attempts by students to manipulate the grading of the questions to their advantage by claiming that questions were ambiguous and that point assignments to particular questions was too high or too low but either way it was unfair. These hick-ups, in my opinion, were created by a few students who either could not understand plain English (and no, I am not speaking about foreign students, just class participants regardless of race, national origin or geographical location) or those unwilling to put in the time to watch the video class presentations and read the required material provided throughout the syllabus. It appears that at least one of those complainers has realized how silly it would sound to present those issues that were discussed in the class forum as part of her/his review and instead, has switched gears into a category that was not ever mentioned by anyone in any of those discussions. It appears that the claim now revolves around Dr. Wicker’s opinions and some non- existent impact they allegedly had on quiz questions throughout the course, and on which answers were considered correct and which weren’t... Fact is, Dr. Wicker was not shy about expressing his educated opinions and qualified biases towards certain laws generally but more specifically towards privacy related issues… Watching his lectures could leave no doubt in anyone‘s mind how deeply concerned he is about everyone‘s privacy and how dedicated he is to finding an everlasting and ever evolving solution that is designed to continually be on par with an ever advancing technology. And so the whole idea of making an attempt to reduce his efforts and inputs into a way of him manipulating quizzes or to imply that his opinions impacted how questions were formatted or how quizzes were graded, it is beyond pathetic, and could not be farther from the truth; anyone suggesting anything of the sort ought to be ashamed of themselves for even thinking it. The man wrote “THE BOOK” on Privacy-Aware design. His vast knowledge about the history, the technology and the philosophy of it all goes beyond what can be contained between two hard covers and therefore, the material covered in this class requires someone with an attentive mind and a sharp ability to grasp on to several topics the course attempts to establish. If you missed a section, a video or failed to read a required article or chapter, then you might be left with the mistaken impression that you were fed some sort of opinion, and are bound to answer a few questions incorrectly. But if you stay the course, if you pay attention and put in the time, you’ll have no problems keeping up and no issues misinterpreting fact from opinion. Point here is, you can take the course and come away having learned a great deal, or you can listen to those who opted to learn little but complained a great deal. The choice is yours!
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9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
great course the subject was very informative .... my only complaint was the logistics since not being familiar with the app costed me getting better grade
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8/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
This course has given me a new outlook on cell phone usage and I can envision the future in mobile technology. This was my first MOOC but I am definitely motivated to take more courses. Once I got used to the weekly curriculum, the pace was manageable.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 3 months ago
Besides reading some privacy agreements, I had no previous experience on this topic. This course was really one of the best MOOC I ever took. It analyses the privacy issues, mainly related to cellular convergence, on various aspects, including technical and legal ones. Prof. Wicker lectures are very clear and include many links to external readings as extra material.
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9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
One of the best MOOC's I have taken. I like the sequences of the modules, the humor of Prof. Wicker and most of all, the brilliant knowledge and the critical information he shared to his students regarding information networks,the government role and the people's rights. More Power to Prof. Wicker and the TA's.
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6/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
Good concepts are thoughts. But can improve in giving real time projects pertaining to the course. Can be more sound on technical terms and stuff rather than the legal issues and court cases.
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
One of my best MOOC's ever. The lectures and concepts were grate and straight to the point. Prof Wicker did a wonderful job putting the the lectures together.
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9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
Very happy with the course. Made me aware of something I just was not tuned into. Prof Wicker had an easy style and made the lectures interesting. However, repetitions, not too many, in the content could have been avoided. Overall a good course although US oriented
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6/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
This MOOC was very good. The lectures and concepts were easy to understand. However instructor graded assignments should have been made a part of the course
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8/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
This course was very interesting in terms of showing how your information is being collected and stored. Government secrecy is nothing new...
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7/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
Interesting lectures, interesting thoughts. I've learned useful things despite my broad technical knowledge in this things. Unfortunately, the quizzes was frustrated me. The questions tended to be more subjective then objective and sometimes it was hard to answer correct.
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9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
This course was my first MOOC experience and exceeded my expectations. The course was quite content, and dedication was necessary to achieve complete it.
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
Prof. Wicker is just great. You will definitely learn you something good with him. I really enjoyed a lot.
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9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
While being on the Internet and on-line most of the time, personal and public risks will arise. Mostly communication related. By doing this course you will find answers what the risks are, where they come from and underlying thoughts and arguments. You will also learn about the history, law that's created due to cases that happened in the past. I enjoyed this course a lot. It gave me many new insights.
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 3 months ago
I will say I really had a good time taking this course. I had a few challenges though (with regards to internet access in my country) as a result of which I was unable to try for a certificate. but I gained a lot of knowledge and in the end, I'm glad I took the course.
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