Fall 2019 HC 431H: Secrecy

Fall 2019-2020

Professor: Michael Moffitt

4.00 credits

  • CRN 17000: Monday & Wednesday, 12:00 - 13:20 @ CHA 301

Under what conditions can we—or should we be able to—learn that which others wish to keep secret? This colloquium will introduce the complex, overlapping policy assumptions and tradeoffs associated with questions of secrecy. The first part of the course will examine secrets at the level of individual or personal information. (For example, we will consider medical data, educational records, behaviors within intimate partnerships, and internet activity.) The second part of the course will examine secrets in the operations of government. (For example, we will consider the right to access governmental records, sunshine meeting laws, court hearings, and sting operations and other similar activity involving policing and national security.) The colloquium will conclude by considering corporate secrets. (For example, we will consider the evolution of trade secrets laws, reporting requirements, and companies’ duties when they handle others’ information.) This is a discussion-based seminar, with regular readings, and brief research and writing projects.