This report explores what makes the Berkman Fellows program successful and aims to derive lessons that can be applied to other institutions.
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.)
In this case study, the authors describe the municipal smart grid and fiber-to-the-home Internet access project in the town of Concord, Massachusetts, and quantify early paybacks on the town’s investments.
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.
for Reporting on U.S. Government Requests for User Information
Policy Positions on SOPA/PIPA Before and After the Internet Blackout
In this paper, researchers investigate the role that public attention plays in determining the effect that campaign contributions funded by interests groups have on legislators’ policy positions.
This briefing paper outlines preliminary issues that we noted while conducting a detailed study of hate speech laws in India. It teases out some of the major concerns that arise in the context of both online and offline hate speech, especially speech as potential incitement to violence.
This paper offers reflections and observations on the state of research related to harmful speech online. The perspectives outlined here are grounded in the lessons from a year of exploratory work in the field by researchers at the Berkman Klein Center and collaborating researchers and institutions.
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.
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.
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.
This research briefing aims to translate findings from ongoing Berkman Klein Center privacy and cybersecurity research and activities into practical considerations and takeaways for key stakeholders and decision-makers.
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.
This research briefing builds upon student privacy research and activities, and aims to translate these into practical take-aways.
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.’
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...
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.
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.
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.
Western Massachusetts Towns Create a New Model for Last-Mile Connectivity, but a State Agency Delays Approval and Funding
A new case study from the Berkman Center's Municipal Fiber Initiative profiles a group of Western Massachusetts towns who have created a new model for last-mile connectivity.
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.
The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the publication of a new paper from the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project team. In this paper, Effy Vayena, Urs Gasser, Alexandra Wood, and David O’Brien from the Berkman Center, with Micah Altman from MIT Libraries, outline elements of a new ethical framework for big data research.
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.
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.
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.
In this paper, which is modeled on a similar effort in 1999 by researchers from George Washington University, Berkman Fellow Bruce Schneier and collaborator Kathleen Seidel together with Harvard College student Saranya Vijayakuma identify and survey 865 encryption products from 55 different countries, 546 of them from outside the United States.
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.
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.
The idea of an “Internet Bill of Rights” is by no means a new one: in fact, serious efforts to draft such a document can be traced at least as far back as the mid-1990s. In this paper, we propose a unified term to describe these efforts using the umbrella of “digital constitutionalism” and conduct an analysis of thirty initiatives spanning from 1999 to 2015.
Mapping Twitter in China
"Beyond the Wall: Mapping Twitter in China" offers a rare look at the activity of Chinese Internet users on a platform that is largely unregulated by the state and only reachable through the use of tools that circumvent state-mandated Internet filters.