Publications

The Berkman Klein Center has established the premier series of scholarly publications on matters related to the Internet, law, and society, which is jointly published with the Social Science Research Network (SSRN).

Below is a selected list of these works, which includes scholarly papers as well as books, written by Berkman Klein faculty and fellows. To be notified when new reports are added to this list, sign up for our reports release email list.

(For additional writings and blog posts from Berkman community members and projects, which are not included in this series, see our aggregated community blog feed.)

Organization & Structure of Open Source Software Development Initiatives

Challenges & Opportunities Concerning Corporate Formation, Nonprofit Status, & Governance for Open Source Projects

A collection of case studies and organizational models for those who manage and participate in open source development initiatives to actively think about the communities they hope to create.

Authored by
  • Christopher Bavitz
  • Kira Hessekiel
  • Dalia Topelson Ritvo

22 Mar 2017

Open Data Privacy Playbook

Effective data governance is a prerequisite for successful open data programs. This report codifies responsible privacy-protective approaches and processes that could be adopted by cities and other government organizations that are publicly releasing data.

27 Feb 2017

Smart Grid Paybacks: The Chattanooga Example

After building a fiber optic network throughout its service territory, the city-owned electric utility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2010 became the first U.S. company to offer fiber-to-the-home Internet access at speeds of 1 gigabit per second. The fiber also serves as the backbone of a sophisticated smart grid which modernized the utility’s electricity infrastructure. This report from the Municipal Fiber Initiative examines paybacks on the smart grid.

6 Feb 2017

Defining Hate Speech

This essay seeks to review some of the various attempts to define hate speech, and pull from them a series of traits that can be used to frame hate speech with a higher degree of confidence. In so doing, it explores the tensions between hate speech and principles of freedom of expression, both in the abstract and as they are captured in existing definitions.

Authored by
  • Andy Sellars

8 Dec 2016

Grassroots Perspectives on Hate Speech, Race, and Inequality in Brazil and Colombia

Through interviews with leaders of civil society organizations (CSOs) and a review of existing literature, this study discusses efforts and interventions that CSOs have employed to counter racial stigma faced by the collective population of Afro-descendant youth in an attempt to understand and examine signs of impact related to hate speech in Brazil and Colombia, distinct from existing overarching studies of online hate speech.

Authored by
  • Niousha Roshani

8 Dec 2016

Privacy and Open Data Research Briefing

This research briefing offers a snapshot of recent developments in the open data and privacy landscape, outlines an action map of various governance approaches to protecting privacy when releasing open data, and identifies key opportunities for decision-makers seeking to respond to challenges in this space.

Authored by
  • Alexandra Wood
  • David O'Brien
  • Urs Gasser

26 Sep 2016

Networked Policy Making Avenues: Assessing the Role of Academics in Digital Policy

There are a growing number of examples that point toward a change in the way public policy is made in the digital age. This new context, which we refer to as networked policymaking, involves a greater variety of actors and voices, often collaborating in formal and informal networks, taking part in a public consideration and debate of policy questions via digital media.

Authored by
  • Amar Ashar
  • Rob Faris
  • Urs Gasser

26 Sep 2016

Hammering Square Pegs into Round Holes

The Geographical Scope of Application of the EU Right to be Delisted

In this paper, Michel Reymond explores the extraterritorial effects of the Google Spain decision rendered in May 2014 by the European Court of Justice. Through a methodology inspired by private international law, the author examines the geographical reach of the so-called ‘Right to be Forgotten,’ which is more correctly identified as a ‘Right to be Delisted.’

15 Sep 2016

Culture Change and Digital Technology: The NYPD under Commissioner William Bratton, 2014-2016

This white paper explores NYPD's adoption of Twitter and an ideation platform called IdeaScale that was aimed at allowing community members to nominate "quality of life" issues for resolution by the police. It examines the department's pivot to Facebook as an interactive communications platform following its experience with IdeaScale...

12 Sep 2016

Privacy and Student Data

An Overview of Federal Laws Impacting Student Information Collected Through Networked Technologies

Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, based at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, has prepared this guide to provide a high-level overview of two of the major federal legal regimes that govern the privacy of children’s and students’ data in the United States: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

Authored by
  • Dalia Topelson Ritvo

29 Jun 2016

#IranVotes

Political Discourse on Iranian Twitter During the 2016 Parliamentary Elections

#IranVotes: Political Discourse on Iranian Twitter During the 2016 Parliamentary Elections” maps and analyzes the content and structure of the Iranian Twittersphere over the course of the 2016 legislative elections in order to identify the communities that developed around various political, social, and cultural issues and to assess the influence of online political campaigning on the platform.

Authored by
  • John Kelly
  • Rebekah Heacock Jones

22 Jun 2016

Public Opinion toward Internet Freedom in Asia: A Survey of Internet Users from 11 Jurisdictions

The purpose of the study is to understand the public opinion toward issues related to Internet freedom in Asia. This report provides a basic overview of the opinions and behaviors on a number of topics related to Internet freedom, including but not limited to Internet censorship and the adoption and use of circumvention, anonymization, and encryption tools.

Authored by
  • Fei Shen
  • Lokman Tsui

4 May 2016

Maximizing K-12 Fiber Connectivity Through E-Rate: An Overview

An evaluation of self-construction, dark fiber, and lit fiber options for school districts following recent enhancements to E-rate

This new toolkit provides school system leaders the guidance to understand and leverage the federal E-rate program, which provides up to $3.9 billion annually to subsidize the provision of high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries.  

14 Apr 2016

The Transparency Reporting Toolkit:

Best Practices for Reporting on U.S. Government Requests for User Information

The Transparency Reporting Toolkit is a project by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI). Using research on the current state of transparency reporting, the project aims to identify best practices, create a template transparency report, and establish reporting guidelines.

31 Mar 2016

Mobilization for Change

The role of the networked public sphere in advancing civic participation and collective action in the Arab region

“Mobilization for Change” is a series of reports examining the role of the networked public sphere in advancing civic participation and collective action in the Arab region.

Authored by
  • Rob Faris
  • John Kelly
  • Helmi Noman
  • Dalia Othman
  • Nagla Rizk

9 Mar 2016

Cloudy with a Conflict of Laws

How Cloud Computing Has Disrupted the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty System and Why It Matters

This paper describes how the fractal complexity of cloud computing’s physical geography has fractured the system of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) that arose during the jet age to help shuttle evidence of crime across borders. 

Authored by
  • Vivek Krishnamurthy

16 Feb 2016

Between Openness and Privacy in Genomics

In this report, which was published in PLOS Medicine, the authors examine the questions around access to genomic data. They argue that the real breakthrough in reconciling privacy and openness in genomics requires confronting head-on some fundamentally normative tensions that are escalated in the era of genomics and big data, and they suggest three points that will play a crucial role in navigating between privacy and openness.

Authored by
  • Effy Vayena
  • Urs Gasser

12 Jan 2016

Openness and Restraint

Structure, Discourse, and Contention in Saudi Twitter

"Openness and Restraint" maps and analyzes the structure and content of the Saudi Twittersphere and identifies the communities that coalesce around different political, religious, social, and cultural topics and viewpoints. The paper examines how users take advantage of the fact that Twitter is an unfiltered media platform to advance their political and social causes.

Authored by
  • Helmi Noman
  • Rob Faris
  • John Kelly

10 Dec 2015

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