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



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Explore the privacy issues of an interconnected world.
With an apprenticeship you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

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Requirements: None.


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What you'll learn on the course

Big Data
Social Sciences

Course programme

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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.

What you'll learn

  • 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.

Additional information

Stephen B. Wicker Stephen Wicker is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University and a member of the graduate fields of computer science, information science, and applied mathematics. He teaches and conducts research in wireless information networks, cellular networks, and digital telephony. He currently focuses on the interface between information networking technology, law, and sociology, with a particular emphasis on how design choices and regulation can affect the privacy and speech rights of users. Wicker is the Cornell principal investigator for the TRUST Science and Technology Center—a National Science Foundation center dedicated to the development of technologies for securing the nation’s critical infrastructure.