The three written assignments are designed to improve your analysis and writing skills.

All assignments should be in PDF format and emailed to Abe Coffman ()

All assignments are due at noon on the date listed below. Late assignments will be penalized: each day an assignment is late will result in a half a grade deduction. Recognizing that emergencies arise, exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Assignment #1 (25%)

Due: February 28th
Maximum length: 1500 words or 6 pages double-spaced in a normal font

You are in start-up mode. You and two friends are toying with creating a social network aggregation site. Through your service you plan to provide users a central portal for accessing their social networking profiles. Users will provide you with the names and passwords for the social networking sites from which they would like you to extract data. With the user names and passwords, you scrape data from the various social networking sites and provide it in a display. You’ve approached several social networking sites about your plans—the biggest one Facebook was unwilling to enter into a licensing arrangement. You want to go forward with your plan, but are attempting to identify potential areas of legal risk so that you can 1) design around them; and, 2) seek legal advice. Your assignment, based on class readings to date and the Facebook Terms of Service, is to write a letter identifying potential areas of legal risk and explaining why you believe your activities will not give rise to liability; and to identify policy reasons that support this sort of data portability.

Assignment #2 (25%)

Due: April 2nd
Maximum length: 1500 words or 6 pages double-spaced in a normal font

Your company has been contacted by a lawyer representing a woman, Heather Kennedy, who’s Tweets are being pulled from Twitter and embedded in this site The letter accuses of defaming Heather Kennedy (who is not the Heather Kennedy in the feature story accused of endangering the welfare of a minor) and of placing her in a false light. Your assignment is to write a memo to your colleagues explaining why you do not believe your company can be successfully sued for either.

Assignment #3 (25%)

Due: May 14th (9:00AM)
Maximum length: 1500 words or 6 pages double-spaced in a normal font

Using the framework proposed in any one of the articles from 5/3 class please analyze potential legal, ethical and/or policy implications of one of the services on the list below and propose technical, contractual, design, education or policy options for ameliorating or advancing them.

Services (associated links explain how they work) Relevant Articles (from 5/3 class)