Class Description

Fall 2020

INF 390N Information Policy : Privacy, Surveillance, and National Security

Unique ID: 27329 Philip Doty
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm Syllabus


Systematic study of public policy in the United States.

Foundations of what public policy and its study are, with a focus on the United States.

Introduction to U.S. federal information policy, with emphasis on privacy and surveillance in the post-9/11 environment and brief consideration of American intelligence work.
Theories of surveillance and privacy. Inherent tensions between democratic and open civil society and security concerns of the state. Primacy and critique of risk assessment as the framework for U.S. security decisions. Understanding historical bases of policy issues, identifying important sources of consensus and dissensus about policy issues, identifying key policy stakeholders and actors, and recognition that reasonable people will disagree about what can and should be done about important policy issues and that the policy system aims to reveal and adjudicate among conflicting perspectives and value judgments.


Graduate standing. Additional prerequisites may vary with the topic.


Synchronous online class meetings supplemented with some asynchronous online coursework.


Some seats reserved for graduate students in the School of Information, with additional seats reserved for graduate students from other academic units.