IT 6103 IT Policy and Law

Developed by Dr. Rebecca Rutherfoord



IT 6103 Course Syllabus


Module 1:


Law definition:

Cyber Ethics definition:

Cyber Ethics facts:

No Bullying:

Module 1 content: 

What Is Law?

  1. The law consists of rules that regulate the conduct of individuals, businesses, and other organizations within society
  2. It is intended to protect persons and their property against unwanted interference from others
  3. The law forbids persons from engaging in certain undesirable activities
  4. It is often fair (but not always)
  5. The Law must be flexible



Functions of Law (1 of 3)

  1. Keeping the peace
  2. Including making certain activities crimes
  3. Shaping moral standards
  4. e.g., enacting laws that discourage drug and alcohol abuse
  5. Promoting social justice
  6. e.g., enacting statutes that prohibit discrimination in employment



Functions of Law (2 of 3)

  1. Maintaining the status quo
  2. e.g., passing laws preventing the forceful overthrow of the government
  3. Facilitating orderly change
  4. e.g., passing statutes only after considerable study, debate, and public input
  5. Providing a basis for compromise
  6. approximately 90 percent of all lawsuits are settled prior to trial



Functions of Law (3 of 3)

  1. Facilitating planning
  2. e.g., well-designed commercial laws allow businesses to plan their activities, allocate

their resources, and assess their risks

  1. Maximizing individual freedom
  2. e.g., the rights of freedom of speech, religion, and association granted by the First

Amendment to the U.S. Constitution



Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case:

  1. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
  2. Supreme Court reversed prior precedent of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
  3. Court held that the separate but equal doctrine violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution
  4. The case demonstrates that one Supreme Court can overrule prior Supreme Court cases to promote justice




Schools of Jurisprudential Thought (1 of 3)

  1. Natural Law School
  2. Postulates that law is based on what is “correct”
  3. Law should be based on morality and ethics
  4. Historical School
  5. Believes that law is an aggregate of social traditions and customs
  6. Analytical School
  7. Maintains that law is shaped by logic



Schools of Jurisprudential Thought (2 of 3)

  1. Sociological School
  2. Asserts that law is a means of achieving and advancing certain sociological goals
  3. Command School
  4. Believes that law is a set of rules developed, communicated, and enforced by the ruling party



Schools of Jurisprudential Thought (3 of 3)

  1. Critical Legal Studies School
  2. Maintains that legal rules are unnecessary and that legal disputes should be solved by applying arbitrary rules based on fairness
  3. Law and Economics School
  4. Believes that promoting market efficiency should be the central concern of legal decision making



English Common Law (1 of 2)

  1. Law developed by judges who issued their opinions when deciding a case
  2. The principles announced in these cases became precedent for later judges deciding similar cases



English Common Law (2 of 2)

  1. The English common law can be divided into cases decided by the:
  2. Law courts
  3. Equity courts (Court of Chancery)
  4. Merchant courts



International Law:

The Civil Law System (1 of 2)

  1. Romano-Germanic civil law system is the model for countries adopting civil codes
  2. The Civil Code and the parliamentary statutes that expand and interpret it are the sole sources of law in most civil law countries
  3. The adjudication of a case is the application of the code or the statutes to a particular set of facts



International Law:

The Civil Law System (2 of 2)

  1. In some civil law countries, court decisions do not have the force of law
  2. A contrast to Anglo-American common law where laws are created by the judicial system as well as by congressional legislation



Sources of Law in the United States (1 of 5)

  1. Constitutions
  2. The U.S. Constitution establishes the federal government and enumerates its powers
  3. Powers not given to the federal government are reserved to the states
  4. State constitutions establish state governments and enumerate their powers



Sources of Law in the United States (2 of 5)

  1. Codified law: statutes and ordinances
  2. Statutes are enacted by Congress and state legislatures
  3. Ordinances are enacted by municipalities and local government agencies
  4. They establish courses of conduct that must be followed by covered parties



Sources of Law in the United States (3 of 5)

  1. Treaties
  2. The president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, may enter into treaties with foreign governments
  3. Executive orders
  4. Issued by the president and governors of states
  5. They regulate the conduct of covered parties



Sources of Law in the United States (4 of 5)

  1. Administrative agency regulations and orders
  2. Administrative agencies are created by the legislative and executive branches of government
  3. They may adopt administrative regulations and issue orders that regulate the conduct of covered parties



Sources of Law in the United States (5 of 5)

  1. Judicial decisions
  2. Federal and state courts decide controversies
  3. In doing so, they issue decisions that state the holding of each case and the reasoning used by the court in reaching its decision



The Doctrine of Stare Decisis (1 of 2)

  1. Based on the common law tradition, past court decisions become precedent for deciding future cases
  2. Lower courts must follow the precedent established by higher courts



The Doctrine of Stare Decisis (2 of 2)

  1. Thus, all federal and state courts in the U.S. must follow the precedents established by U.S. Supreme  Court decisions
  2. Adherence to precedent is called stare decisis



Priority of Law in the United States (1 of 2)

  1. The U.S. Constitution and treaties take precedence over all other laws
  2. Federal statutes take precedence over federal regulations
  3. Valid federal law takes precedence over conflicting state or local law



Priority of Law in the United States (2 of 2)

  1. State constitutions rank as the highest state law
  2. State statutes take precedence over state regulations
  3. Valid state law takes precedence over local laws



 Module 2:

 ACM Code of Ethics:

Additional Code of Ethics:

Software Engineering Code of Ethics:

Security Code of Ethics:

Free Software Movement:


Module 3:

Social Constructionism:

Critical Thinking:


Module 4:

Privacy Laws and Regulations:

Privacy and the Law:

State Laws & Internet Privacy:

Electronic Privacy Act:

Video Computer Privacy:




Module 5

Cyber Security, Homeland Security:

Cyber Security Standards:

Computer Security:

Video Cyber Security:


Module 6

FBI Cyber Crime:

Definitions of Cyber Crime:

Combating Cyber Crime:


Module 7


Cyber Stalking:

Video 7 Types of Cybercrime:

Video Hacking:


Module 8

Digital Millenium Copyright Act:


Intellectual Property:




Module 9


What is Jurisprudence:


Module 10

American Bar Pretrial:

Overview of Tort Law:

Strict Product Liability:

Video Negligence:

Defective Product Video:


Module 11

English Contract Law:

Definition of Contract:

IT contracts:

Video Drafting Contracts:

Video Contract Law:


Module 12


Traditional vs econtracts:

E contract definition:

Cyber Squatting:


Module 13

Digital Rights Management:

Role of Government in Cyberspace:

Regulating Cyberspace:

Regulating International Cyberspace:

Pros and Cons Internet Censorship:


Module 14

Digital Divide:

Challenge of Closing the Digital Divide:

Video Social Networks:

Video Cyber Technology & Gender Bias:

Video Outsourcing Good or Bad:


Team Projects:


Project 1:

For this lab your group will be writing a series of ethical policies for your company - RHR Outdoor Adventures. This company sells outdoor adventures in the North Georgia Mountains. It includes such things as white water rafting, mountain trails, overnight camping, horseback-riding, etc.

Your team has been hired to produce a set of ethical policies for the company. Using the ACM Code of Ethics, IEEE Code and other codes you can find, write out a set of ethical policies for the company employees.

In addition, your company has been hired to be sure that privacy concerns of customers are made clear - write out your customer privacy statement.

This should be done in detail. You can also point the employees to professional codes, such as ACM, etc.

Project 2:

1.  Find 4 articles dealing with protecting privacy on computing systems.  Give a one paragraph description of each article.  Then, as a group, decide on which article you liked the best, and write a paragraph on why the group chose that particular article. (be sure to include the article citation)

2.  Find information on 3 of the newest "viruses" affecting computer systems.  Write up a detailed explanation of each virus and, if possible, write how you can combat this virus. (be sure to include the reference where you found each virus' information)

3.  Find 3 articles on recent hacking/cracking events.  Write a one paragraph description about each article, then as a group, decide which of the hacking/cracking events was the most damaging and give your reasons why you thought that way. (be sure to include your article citation)

Project 3:

1.  Find 3 articles dealing with negligence in IT.  Write a separate paragraph detailing the article. (be sure to give the article citation)

2.  Find 3 articles dealing with either copyright violations or patent violations in IT.  Write a separate paragraph detailing the article (be sure to give the article citation).

3.  Fine 2 articles dealing with broken contracts in IT (in any area of IT).  Write a separate paragraph detailing each article (be sure to give the article citation.)