Syllabus (Formerly INFOSEC 690L)

  • When: Summer 2022.  

    Fall 2022.  September 6, 2022-December 12, 2022   

  • Where:  Summer:  Monday & Wednesday 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. Online Synchronous 

    Fall 2022.  Tuesday & Thursday, 10:00 A.M.-11:15 A.M.

  • Instructor:  Marvin Cable, J.D., Esquire 

  • Email: mcable@umass.ed


Summer Course Layout
The course is a 3-credit, semester-length course and is divided into 11 units. Each unit has reading material(s) and/or multimedia. Also, each unit will have assignments to complete. There will be weekly lectures on Monday & Wednesday 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.  Course will be synchronous online via Zoom.  

Fall Course Layout

The course is a 3-credit, semester-length course and is divided into 11 units. Each unit has reading material(s) and/or multimedia. Also, each unit will have assignments to complete. There will be bi-weekly lectures, Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00 A.M.-11:15 A.M.  Undergrad section in-person.  Grad sections in-person and via Zoom.

Office hours.  TBA

Communicating with Instructor. Instructor will attempt to respond to e-mails within 24-48 hours, except during weekends. There may be other times during the course where response time may be longer - students will be provided notice of such an event. Sometimes, it may be necessary to talk on the phone. In that case, the instructor will provide a phone number.

Summary: This course is meant for those looking for legal knowledge for use in computing- and Internet-related endeavors. The course will include topics related to security, policy, and the use of machine learning and related technologies. Course material provides practical information for use by computer professionals. Some of the topics covered include: infrastructure of the Internet, basic legal principles, contract law, substantive laws, intellectual property law, ethics, dealing with third parties, policy issues, and implications of applying machine learning technology. 

This course is pre-approved to count as an outside elective for the MS in Computer Science degree. 

Course open to:

UNIV LECT 01 COMPSCI undergrad majors only with C or better in COMPSCI 311, 383, or 360 (or 460).

UNIV LECT 02 COMPSCI and ECE graduate students

UWW LECT 01 COMPSCI and ECE graduate students; as well as any other student at the grad level with instructor permission (including non-matriculated/non-CS/non-ECE students).



All deadlines will be posted in Blackboard. 

Assessment and Grading

There are 8 categories that will be graded:

  1. Lectures. There will be bi-weekly lectures. Attendance is not required, therefore will not be accounted for in the final grade. If a student attends 6 of first 7 lectures, then student does not have to take mid-term and will receive 100% on mid-term.

  2. Case Briefs. Every week there will be case(s) to read and brief. That means there will be at least 8 cases to brief. Each brief will be assigned a numerical grade of 1 through 10.  Each brief must be completed to pass the course.  This category will count as 16% of final grade. 

  3. Student-teacher conferences. Each student must meet with the Professor twice during the semester. This category counts as 8% of the final grade. The student will receive a full 8% credit for the final grade merely by meeting with the teacher twice. This category is mandatory. 

  4. Reading and Questions. Each lecture will have reading assignment along with questions to answer. This category counts as 28% of the final grade. The cutoff date for these assignments is strict. No late reading assignments will be accepted. 

  5. Law review response. Each week the student will be asked to read law review article(s). Along with the reading will be an assignment. This category counts as 8% of the final grade. Grading for each assignment will be provided with the assignment, otherwise completion of the assignment will count as full credit. 

  6. Mid-Term and Final Exam. There will be a mid-term and final exam. This category counts as 20% of the final grade. The method of grading for exams will be provided along with the exams.

  7. Discussion board. Every week there will be 1 to 2 discussion board assignments. This category counts as 8% of the final grade. Each discussion board assignment will have certain requirements. The student receives full credit for discussion board assignments, if those requirements are met. 

  8. Projects. There will be multiple projects. This category counts as 12% of the final grade. Each project will be graded on a scale of 1 through 10.

About Grading

  • All assignments are mandatory. Exceptions:

    • Student may miss/skip 1 textbook reading and question assignment.

    • Student may miss/skip 1 discussion board post assignment.

    • Student may miss/skip 1 case brief assignment.

    • Student may miss/skip 1 law review response assignment.

  • Late assignments require excuse from instructor. For every day late - 10% drop in grade.

  • Goals of grading - to assess or challenge. 

  • Each student should attend and participate in lectures.

  • Blackboard grading will not be ready for viewing until later in the course.  

Late Work

An Assignment submitted after the due date is listed as "late." Assignments are listed as "late" until the cut-off-date. An Assignment cannot be submitted after the cut-off date. Assignments are listed as "missed" after the cut-off date. Penalties for "late work" are 10% off the assignment's final grade per day.

Textbook (Required)

Issues in Internet Law: Society, Technology, and the Law, 11th Ed.  (ISBN-13: 978-1935971351) (ISBN-10: 1935971352)


This Course is facilitated using an online technology platform, called Blackboard. To access Blackboard using a web-browser, use the URL: To access Blackboard using a mobile device, please visit the following URL to setup device:

This course also features remote access to lectures in real-time. To access lectures in real-time, we will be using Zoom. You may download a client for your computer or mobile device,; or, you may use a web-browser:

The syllabus will cover the following topics (changes may occur before the course begins):


Unit 1:  Introduction & Orientation to Course

  • Introduction to Course

  • Class mechanics

Unit 2:  Basics of the Internet

  • History of the Internet

  • Physical structure of the Internet

  • Governance of the Internet

Unit 3:  Basic Legal Skills

  • IRAC

  • Case Briefing

  • Critical Thinking

  • Critical Reading

  • Citation 

Unit 4:  Basics of the law

  • Laws, statutes, regulations, common law, stare decisis, treaties, and the interactions between them

  • Issues of local, state, federal, and international laws

  • Jurisdiction related issues

Unit 5:  Contracts

  • Basics of contract law

  • Common examples of contracts, e.g., employment agreements, work for hire.

Unit 6:  Policy issues

  • Privacy

  • Freedom of speech

  • Open internet / Net neutrality

Unit 7:  Intellectual property law

  • Copyright

  • Trademark and unfair business

  • Patent

Unit 8:  Substantive laws

  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA)

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA

  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

  • Criminal laws

  • Laws dealing with protection of private information, e.g., social security numbers, credit cards

  • We will study other sets of laws, too, depending on class interest

Unit 9:  Ethics

  • Basic ethical dilemmas

  • Whitehat versus blackhat

  • Whistle blowing

Unit 10:  Dealing with employees and internal business relations

  • Employee privacy

  • Intellectual property issues with employees and organizations

Unit 11:  Dealing with third parties

  • Subpoenas

  • National Security Letters

  • Requirements for safeguarding data for, and from, third parties

  • Litigation basics

Technical Support

In the first days of the course, students should independently become familiar with the available technical support resources. Instructors are not expected to know about or how to fix technical issues.

If you need assistance with technical support to participate in this course, please review the Student Orientation & Resource Area or Contact 24/7 Support. You will have the option of email, live chat, or phone. Students may also use the Help Desk for technical support issues: (from this link, students will be able to chat, email and call technical support).

More technical support information is located on the login page, and should have been provided to students when they received their login credentials. Further technical support information is located in our course, under the Resources menu, on the left side-bar.

Academic Honesty

All students and participants of courses at UMass Amherst are expected to read and abide by guidelines for academic honesty detailed in the Undergraduate Rights and Responsibilities and the Student Code of Conduct. The link to the Code of Conduct can be found here:

No form of cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, or facilitating of dishonesty will be condoned in the University community. Students will be expected to read and to act in accordance with the University Student Code of Conduct.

Underlying every action of this course, the Academic Honesty Policy. Students should know and understand Academic Honesty policy. The complete Academic Honesty Policy and forms are available at:

Accommodation Policy Statement

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students. If you have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability on file with Disability Services (DS), Learning Disabilities Support Services (DSS), or Psychological Disabilities Services (PDS), you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in your courses. If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify your instructor within the first two weeks of the semester so that they can make appropriate arrangements.

Online Course Expectations & Netiquette  

The interactions between students and teachers for online classes are much different from traditional classroom classes. Many times, in online environments, there will be much more interaction between students than traditional classrooms. And, online interactions are not face-to-face.

A few weeks into this course, I predict that everyone in this class will interact with everyone else in this class. I'm hoping that we can create a robust learning community that inspires and supports everyone's learning growth.

In support of maintaining a robust learning community, I ask that everyone follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Be a good person. Be respectful and responsible. Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.

  • Respect people's time and bandwidth. Written communication should be meaningful and to the point. People are busy. Don't include large files, unless absolutely necessary.

  • Be formal. As to how formal communications should be, error on the side of being more formal. When possible, please use formal sentence structure. But, be clear and concise. And, use courteous language.

  • Respect copyrights. Do not violate copyright laws.

  • Cite clearly. Citations may, many times, be necessary. When a specific citation format is required, students will be notified. Otherwise, when providing citations please provide citations to authorities so that readers may identify and find those authorities for future research.

  • Be careful about outside materials. Please, be judicious with the use of outside materials. Use of outside materials in this course may be taken down by the instructor at any time.

Legal Statements

While the instructor of this course is an attorney, no statements made by the instructor as a result of being engaged to teach this course should be construed as legal advice nor relied upon for any legal matter. Furthermore, no statement made by the instructor as a result of teaching this course should be construed as having created an attorney-client relationship.

In order to comply with Massachusetts's wiretapping statute, all students should be aware and understand that all communications for this class may be recorded. By participating in this course, a student consents to any recordings made as a result of the student's activity in the course. 

 Note: Syllabus may be changed at any time, for any reason.


Monday, May 24, 2021 to Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Wednesday, September 1, 2021 to Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Monday, August 24, 2020 to Friday, November 20, 2020
Tuesday, September 6, 2022 to Monday, December 12, 2022
Monday, May 23, 2022 to Wednesday, July 27, 2022
Class meets on: 
6:00–8:00 P.M.
Marvin Cable, Esquire
September, 2022