Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: NWI-IMC006
Law in Cyberspace
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-IMC006
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Informatica en Informatiekunde;
A. Demetzou, LLM
Other course modules lecturer
prof. mr. F.J. Zuiderveen Borgesius
Other course modules lecturer
prof. mr. F.J. Zuiderveen Borgesius
Other course modules lecturer
prof. mr. F.J. Zuiderveen Borgesius
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. mr. F.J. Zuiderveen Borgesius
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
KW1-KW2  (02/09/2019 to 02/02/2020)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksStudents for whom the course is compulsory in their programme have first access.
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedureIn order of Study programme
ExplanationIn order of Study programme
Students will be able to:
- detect legal issues and distinguish them from the ethical, political and technical dimensions of a problem
- locate and interpret relevant legal sources (statutes, case law, doctrinal texts, international conventions, EU Directives)
- Apply legal rules, for instance regarding privacy and data protection, in situations that are relevant for computer scientists
  • What makes law relevant for computer science experts?
  • What is the difference between law, morality and politics?
  • How do computational technologies change the playing field of traditional written law?
  • What law applies to the sharing of personal data with a company established in the US, e.g. Google?
  • Which investigative techniques can be employed lawfully by the police?  
  • How can citizens contest violations of privacy?
  • Can computer systems discriminate people unfairly, and if so: how should lawmakers react?  
These types of questions are discussed during the course Law in Cyberspace.

This course aims to provide computer and information scientists with an overview of the legal domain and a reflection on the fundamental changes in the legal system due to the emerging computational infrastructure.
We start with a general introduction to law in a constitutional democracy. We discuss the characteristics of private, public and criminal law. We examine how deterritorialization brought about by the internet affects the relationship between national and international jurisdiction. 
The core part of the course focuses on some topical issues for computer scientists, such as privacy, data protection, discrimination, e-commerce, cybercrime, freedom of expression, and the regulation of platforms.
We also investigate challenges and opportunities for building legal protection into the technological infrastructure.

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information


Additional comments
This course is an optional course in the security master specialisation.
- Law, democracy and the rule of law
- Private law, public law and criminal law
- National and international law
- Privacy
- The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Discrimination
- Cybercrime
- Copyright
- Legal protection by design
Test information
Written exam. Possibly, there will also be assignments during the course.
No specific prior knowledge of law is required.

If you want to prepare for the course, you can read these books:

(i) Mireille Hildebrandt, Law for Computer Scientists and Other Folk, Oxford University Press 2019,

(ii) Hage, Jaap, Waltermann, Antonia, Akkermans, Bram (Eds.), Introduction to Law, Springer 2017
ISBN: 978-3-319-57252-9. It is available as an ebook in the university library.
Required materials
Will be distributed via Blackboard
Instructional modes
Course occurrence




Lectures, discussion and written assignments

Test weight1
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock KW2, Block KW3

Test weight0
Test typeAssignment
OpportunitiesBlock KW2

Kies de Nederlandse taal