Uusi opinto-opas (sisältäen myös opetusohjelmat) lukuvuodelle 2018-2019 sijaitsee osoitteessa https://opas.peppi.utu.fi . Tältä sivustolta löytyvät enää vanhat opinto-oppaat ja opetusohjelmat.

The new study guide (incl. teaching schedules) for academic year 2018-2019 can be found at https://studyguide.utu.fi. This site contains only previous years' guides.

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Archived Curricula Guide 2016–2018
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
TLS_0312 Digital rights and internet governance 12 ECTS
Organised by
Turku Law School
Person in charge
Professor Juha Lavapuro
Minimum preceding studies
85 ECTS.
Preceding studies
All students should have basic knowledge of Constitutional, International and European law. The ON/OTM degree students of the Faculty of Law must have completed the following courses: ONOM1006 Valtiosääntöoikeus, 7 op ONOM1040 Eurooppaoikeus, 6 op

General description

Digital rights, such as right to online privacy, protection of personal data, and freedom of expression in the Internet, have ground breaking consequences for internet users, economic actors, governments, courts and policy-makers around the world. While increasing amounts of personal information is collected, shared, and used across a wide variety of contexts and while the new technologies enable progressively efficient ways not only to aggregate, analyze, monetize but also to abuse that information, it has become fundamentally important to understand both the legal limits and possibilities of digital rights and internet governance. How should we understand privacy in a networked world? As a form of property? As an inalienable human right? Or as a security threat? What are the limits of free speech and access to information? How should we legally address such things as Internet of things (IoT), Big Data, and IPv6. Can privacy be designed into the Internet technologies? Can Internet be regulated? Should it be regulated?

The aim of the course is to provide the students with an advanced understanding about digital rights in the networked world. It uses recent research, contemporary court cases, and pieces of legislation as core materials and seeks to enable research-based discussion about a set of core questions of modern society. Utilizing activating teaching methods, such as problem based workshop and research seminar, the course also aims at developing the students' interest and skills in critical legal analysis, argumentation, debate, and writing.

Learning outcomes

After the course, the student should:
- Understand the meaning of the basic principles and concepts of privacy, data protection and freedom expression especially in online context.
- Know the main constitutional, European and international laws and practices involving digital rights.
- Be able to identify, analyze and discuss latest developments in digital rights, technologies and services in different regulatory, political and economic contexts.
- Be able to identify, analyze and apply the main theoretical frameworks provided by the recent research on digital rights and Internet governance.


- Right to private life and protection of personal data as constitutionally protected rights
- The EU data protection reform.
- Hate speech and freedom of expression
- Digital rights case law
- Transborder data flows and the problem of extraterritorial jurisdiction in online context.
- Network surveillance and law
- Digital futures (Big Data, IoT, Privacy by design, MyData etc.)
- Hate Speech online and the right to Freedom of Expression (The EU and US approach)
- The Internet Governance Discourse ( How should be the Internet regulated if it is to be regulated at all?)

Further information on prerequisites and recommendations

Restricted entry, limited to 24 students. The course is an obligatory part of the Master's Degree Programme in Law and Information Society (LIS). Students enrolling in the LIS-programme have priority in the selections.

Previous studies minimum
The students of the Faculty of Law must have completed the basic courses on Constitutional, International and European law and minimum of 85 study points.

Law students of the Faculty of Law may continue working with an essay and expand it into a bachelor`s thesis (ON-seminaarityö).

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online
Lectures 10 h 0 h
Group work

- Lectures (Orientation to the theme 4 h, guest lectures 6 h).
- Seminar max. 1,5 h /student
- Problem based digital rights workshop. The students will be divided into 4-5 teams that will convene independently to solve the legal problems as assigned by the teachers. The results of the team will be discussed in the seminar meetings in the form of debates and presentations. Each student will write a preformatted learning diary where they log and reflect the work in the workshop.
- Research seminar based on student written essays15-20 pages).

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
  • In English
  • In English
  • In English
Participation in classroom work
  • In English

Evaluation and evaluation criteria

Numeric 0-5.
The grades (1-5) will depend on essay 70 %, the learning diary (30 %), and the amount and quality of work during the course meetings (+1)

Study materials

A selection of topical articles, book excerpts and cases (500 p) as assigned during the course.


Recommended background reading (all available in electronic format):

- Lawrence Lessig: Code 2.0 (Basic books 2006), Chapter 1 & Part 1 (Regulability), Part 2 (Regulation by Code and Chapters of Privacy and Freedom of expression in part 3.

- Jonathan Zittrain: The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It (Yale University Press 2008). Part I (The Rise and Stall of the Generative Net).

- Juliane Kokott and Christoph Sobott: The distinction between privacy and data protection in the jurisprudence of the CJEU and the ECtHR. International Data Privacy Law, 2013, Vol. 3, No. 4

- Ira S. Rubinstein, Gregory T. Nojeim, and Ronald D. Lee: Systematic government access to personal data: a comparative analysis.International Data Privacy Law, 2014, Vol. 4, No. 2.

- Jessica S. Henry : Beyond Free Speech: Novel approaches to hate on the Internet in the US, Information and Communication Technology Law, vol. 18, No 2, June 2009

- James Banks (2010): Regulating hate speech online, International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, 24:3, 233-239

- Belavusau, Uladzislau, Fighting Hate Speech Through EU Law (February, 14 2012). Amsterdam Law Forum, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 20-35, 2012

- LICRA v Yahoo! Inc. (http://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1435&context=btlj)

- Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor."The Shape of Governance: Analyzing the World of Internet Regulation." Virginia Journal of International Law 43 (2003).

Further information

Time: III period

Application period 8 December at 9.00 until 12 December 12.00. Instructions and application form for the degree students in Finnish language programmes:https://intranet.utu.fi/fi/yksikot/law/studying/perustutkinto-opiskelu/erikoistumisjaksot/Sivut/Ilmoittautuminen-ja-valinta-erikoistumisjaksoille.aspx

Belongs to following study modules

Faculty of Law
Specialisation fields (MDP in Law and Information Society)
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law
Faculty of Law
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
Faculty of Law
Bachelor of Laws
Master of Laws DP
MDP in Law and Information Society
Doctor of Laws
Turku Law School